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New PAT rule should not affect 49ers' Phil Dawson

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The NFL on Tuesday at its spring meetings in San Francisco changed its rules for point-after attempts, moving the line of scrimmage for kick attempts from the 2-yard line to the 15-yard line.

Depending upon where holders set up, PAT kicks now equate to a 32- or 33-yard field goal.

And as noted by ESPN NFL Insider Mike Sando, kickers converted 59 of 61 such field-goal attempts last season, with Washington's Kai Forbath and Denver's Brandon McManus missing from that distance.

So the degree of difficulty is not all that more, well, difficult.

The question, then, is this: how does this all affect the San Francisco 49ers?

According to ESPN Stats & Info, since 2001 Niners kicker Phil Dawson is a perfect 28-of-28 on field goals of 32 or 33 yards, the best such number in the NFL (Ryan Longwell is 23-of-23 at those distances in that same time frame while Oakland's Sebastian Janikowski is 25-of-28).

And in his 16-year career, Dawson is 30-for-30 from 32 or 33 yards, making 14 field goals from 32 yards and 16 from 33, per Elias.

Again, the change should have a negligible effect on the Niners and Dawson, who is entering his third year with the team but would be in the market for a new holder if fifth-round punter Bradley Pinion unseats Andy Lee.

The league also tweaked the 2-point attempt. The line of scrimmage for such plays will remain at the 2-yard line, but defenses can now return an interception or a fumble on said attempts for two points.

Since 2001, the Niners have attempted 20 2-point attempts, converting 11, per ESPN Stats & Info.