Dawson had a dream international debut.
Pearce said: "I wouldn't say he's a surprise to me because I went and watched him play for Rochdale a couple of years ago with a view to bringing him into this squad.
"I watched him play down at Bournemouth a couple of weeks ago and he played very well.
"He's got a non-league knack about him to want to head the ball in the opposition's box.
"So, we're pleased for him - he's a fantastic character. He'll get as high as he possibly can in the game because of the attitude that he has."