Cawley was signed as a free agent by the Hamilton Tiger-Cats on June 1, 1997. He played in eight games for the Ticats in 1997, ranking third on the team with 181 yards rushing. He also threw for 547 yards on 43 of 79 passing attempts with five touchdowns and four interceptions. During the 1998 season, Cawley saw action in two games for Hamilton completing five of eight passes for 47 yards. He was released on October 19, 1998.
Cawley was selected 13th overall by the Las Vegas Outlaws in the XFL supplemental draft on December 29, 2000. Cawley served as the backup quarterback, but because of injuries to starter Ryan Clement, Cawley played several games as the Outlaws' starter. Cawley himself would end up injured, eventually ending his career.