CLEVELAND - Five days until the season opener, the Browns are without a guy to kick it off.
Let the jokes commence.
"One lucky fan who goes to the Browns game gets to be the kicker for the day," tweeted @ColeLopez77 . "If Urban had his way with the Browns he'd say screw signing a kicker and go for 2 every time," @AK_BigChief tweeted.
With the final roster cut of Shayne Graham and injury to Brandon Bogotay, the Browns' preseason kicker battle ended without winner.
Now what has been the most dependable position in Cleveland for more than a decade is the most up in the air.
Life without Phil has begun.
We all knew the day would come. As he notched his final kicks at Browns Stadium last season, fans cheered for Phil Dawson with a penchant that it was the end of an era.
Deep down, he knew it too.
"Took a moment to soak it all in and say my farewells to the people that have been so supportive to me," a reflective Dawson said that day after the Week 15 loss to the Redskins.
Outsiders might be confused by Cleveland's love affair with Phil.
He was just a kicker - big deal, they might say.
He wasn't throwing bombs for touchdowns, or sprinting past defenders, or even on the field for a majority of plays.
But through 18 different starting quarterbacks and six head coaches in 14 years, Phil was a constant - consistent, consummate and classy.
"I don't deserve the support I get from these guys," Dawson said after what would be his last game in the brown and orange. "I consider it a privilege to get to play for them."
While the Browns were without a franchise quarterback, they did have a franchise kicker.
Okay, admittedly, that does sound a bit ridiculous to say. Too many times, however, only No. 4 was putting points up, Browns box scores looking like a weekly rehash of the three times tables.
That too is pretty ridiculous from an NFL team that hopes to contend.
While he too suffered through the losses, Phil never let it effect his effort.
"You don't get paid to only work hard when you have a chance to go to the playoffs," Dawson said once the Browns were officially eliminated from contention last season. "You get paid to do your job no matter what."
As drive after drive stalled, Dawson became therapy for fans' woes, a pillar of reliability amid offensive futility.
Maybe the Browns couldn't score a touchdown - and that hurt - but there was at least solace in Phil filling a factory of sadness with just a fleeting bit of happiness.
Maybe the kicker isn't a team's marquee guy but he can ultimately be the difference between a title and heartbreak - just ask Adam Vinatieri or Scott Norwood.
Maybe now it's only fitting that, less than a week before the Browns' first game without him, Dawson's void is so palpable.