It’s been 29 seasons since Drew Pearson last played for the Dallas Cowboys. That means 24 years ago he should have been inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame. For whatever reasons, the voters feel that Pearson is not worthy to have his bust sitting in Canton with the rest of the best of the best from the NFL.
Drew Pearson was signed by the Cowboys in 1973 as an undrafted free agent. He went on to become one of the best wide receivers in Cowboys history and as far as this fan is concerned he was one of the best in NFL history. In his very first playoff game in 1973 he scored on an 83 yard touchdown pass from Roger Staubach to seal a victory against the Rams, 27-16. That was the start of many clutch plays from Pearson who earned the nickname Mr. Clutch.
Pearson’s most famous play came in the 1975 playoff game in Minnesota. With the Cowboys losing to the Vikings 14-10, Pearson caught a last second 50 yard touchdown pass from Roger Staubach to win the game 17-14. The pass became known as the “Hail Mary”.
Other famous plays from Pearson included his game winning 50 yard touchdown pass from backup quarterback Clint Longley on Thanksgiving in 1974 to beat the Redskins, 24-23. Then in a 1980 playoff game in Atlanta the Cowboys were losing to the Falcons 27-17 with only a few minutes left in the fourth quarter. It was Pearson who caught two late touchdown passes from quarterback Danny White to win the game 30-27.
It was also Pearson who could have made everyone forget about Dwight Clark’s famous touchdown grab in the 1981 NFC Championship game. Danny White saw Pearson streaking across midfield and connected with him. If it wasn’t for a fingertip tackle by 49ers cornerback Eric Wright, Pearson would have scored the winning touchdown that day and sent the Cowboys to Super Bowl XVI.
Drew Pearson’s career came to an end in March of 1984 when he fell asleep while driving and got into a horrible car accident. The accident killed his brother and forced Pearson to retire due to internal injuries. Although Pearson had to retire early he still had become one of the best receivers in the NFL and his career numbers show that he should be in the Hall of Fame.
Regular Season, 1973-1983
Postseason, 22 games
Here are some other accomplishments for Drew Pearson during his career with the Cowboys.
3 – Pro Bowl selections in 1974, 1976 and 1977
3 – First team All-Pro selections in 1974, 1976 and 1977
1 – Second team All-Pro selection in 1975
4 – First team All-NFC selections in 1974 through 1977
1 – Second team All-NFC selection in 1978
3 – Super Bowl appearances in 1975, 1977 and 1978
1 – Super Bowl Championship in 1977
2 – 1,000 yard seasons in 1974 and 1979
Selected to the NFL 1970’s All-Decade Team
Some say that many Cowboys from the 1970’s, including Pearson are not in the Hall of Fame due to the Cowboys losing both Super Bowls they played against the Steelers in 1975 and 1978. Pearson’s career numbers are far better than Steelers wide receiver Lynn Swann when it comes to receptions and yards, but Swann was inducted into the Hall of Fame in 2001. Pearson hasn’t even been a finalist in the Hall of Fame selection process.
So I plead to the Hall of Fame voters. It’s not too late to correct your mistake. Drew Pearson has waited far too long to take his place in the Hall of Fame. He is one of the all time great wide receivers in the NFL. Pearson needs to be with his teammates in Canton like Roger Staubach, Randy White, Tony Dorsett, Mel Renfro and Rayfield Wright and of course his head coach Tom Landry. Do the right thing and vote Drew Pearson in.