McAuley admits Dawson has West Brom defenders looking over shoulder
The defender is on-loan at Bolton Wanderers.
"He's making good progress and he will have a big future, not only for his talent but his work ethic and his application," said McAuley.
"That's second to none. I know people at Bolton who are very impressed with him and how he has continued to get better.
"He's been unlucky with the partnership Jonas and I have had as that means he's not played as often but he's still young.
"But his time will come. I didn't play professional football until I was 24. Craig got a chance before then and he's making the most of it."