Dawson is a power forward in a shooting guard's body, which of course makes him a small forward by default. He is undersized but explosive, and capable of defending inside and outside. Capable in various matchups, Dawson can match up at the two, three and four positions, and is a physical specimen, combining athleticism with strength and a wide, wide frame.
Normally defending the post, Dawson gets by on defense despite the height disadvantage with this strength and with great discipline. He might be smaller than most opponents, but he is almost always stronger and more athletic than they are, and his long arms help make up for some of the difference. Dawson grabs tough rebounds and is measured in his aggression, and has good anticipatory skills and positional awareness. This does not negate the size disadvantage, but it surely helps a lot.
Offensively, Dawson has developed a little bit of a mid-range shot, but it's not pleasant looking, and he has absolutely no three point range at the moment. With little handle to speak of either, Dawson is entirely a finisher and not a creator, not even down low in the post. Rarely getting to the line (and shooting dreadfully when he does), Dawson is an opportunistic offensive player who gets by through transition, cuts, offensive rebounds and hustle. Yet when he does get such a look, he tears the rim off. This is pretty much all he does on offense, but it's both fun and useful.
Dawson, then, is limited to only a couple of areas of the game, but is extremely effective within them. If he can spot up a bit and keep the energy up, he could stick in the league for a while.