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Legends of the Star – Drew Pearson

 

Last week when I wrote up Roger Staubach’s “Legend of the Star,” I mentioned the famed “Hail Mary” pass. Who better to follow up last weeks “Legend of the Star” than the recipient of that famous catch, wide receiver, Drew Pearson.

Drew Pearson, or “Mr. Clutch” as he was commonly called, didn’t start his career out as wide receiver, and in fact he replaced Hall of Famer, Joe Theismann, at quarterback, when he began his football career at South River High School.

Soon after, he attended the University of Tulsa and graduated in 1972. While he was there he won the university’s President Award. Drew was not drafted in the NFL draft, mostly because he was wide receiver in run based offense while in college. However, that did not stop the Cowboys from drafting Pearson as a free agent in 1973 and blossoming into one of the greatest wide receivers ever to play the game.

Drew got his nickname because of his many game-winning catches and his ability to make a clutch play whenever his team needed one. Legendary Cowboys head coach, Tom Landry, had this to say after the famous “Hail Mary” game, “It was amazing, unbelievable. I can’t believe the ball stuck on Drew’s hip like that. It was a thousand-to-one shot, but I tell you, I’ll take it. The game was out of my hands.”

Drew Pearson helped the Cowboys to three Super Bowl appearances and a victory in Super Bowl XII in 1978. He was named All-Pro 3 times and made Pro Bowl appearances in 1974, 1976 and 1977. He led the NFC in pass receptions in 1976 with 58. He also served as a captain for the Cowboys for four years. He ended his marvelous career with 489 receptions and 7,822 receiving yards, and 50 touchdowns. He was named to the NFL’s 1970’s All-Decade Team.

Since his retirement in 1983, Drew has gone on to become a sports broadcaster for CBS and HBO; and he also hosted the Dallas Cowboys post-game show. He will always be remembered as one of the greatest receivers ever to wear the Dallas Cowboys uniform.

 

Legends of the Star is an exclusive weekly feature found only on StarStruck. Each week we will profile one of the many interesting personalities that have played for the Dallas Cowboys. 

Legends of the Star – Roger Staubach

 

Roger Staubach started his great career as a quarterback for the United States Naval Academy. He made a name for himself by making big plays when he was on the verge of being sacked. His scrambling skills also made him a dangerous weapon on the ground and had great cutting ability which he used to drive defenses crazy. In 1963 he was recognized for his achievements and was awarded the Heisman Trophy. In 1981, he was enshrined in the College Football Hall of Fame.

After his college career, Roger was given the option of staying in the United States to fulfill his commitment to the Navy, but instead he chose to volunteer for a tour of duty in Vietnam, where he served as an officer.

After being drafted by Dallas in 1964, he finally joined the Dallas Cowboys as a 27-year-old rookie in 1969, after completing his military obligation. He eventually took over as the starting quarterback in 1971, and for the next nine seasons he led the Dallas Cowboys to six NFC Championship Games, and four Super Bowls, including victories in Super Bowls VI and XII.

During his career, Staubach developed a reputation for pulling out victories when defeat looked inevitable. His determination to never give up earned him the nickname, "Captain Comeback." He led the Cowboys to 23 come-from-behind victories in the fourth quarter. Seventeen of those comebacks came in the final two minutes of games.

His most famous moment was the "Hail Mary Pass" in the 1975 playoff game against the Minnesota Vikings. With seconds on the clock and Dallas down 14-10, Staubach launched a 50 yard touchdown pass to Drew Pearson, for a 17-14 victory. Staubach told reporters that he prayed a "Hail Mary" before throwing the pass. The name stuck and is widely used in football today.

He finished his 11 NFL career with 1,685 completions for 22,700 yards and 153 touchdowns, with 109 interceptions. He also gained 2,264 rushing yards and scored 20 touchdowns on 410 carries. At the time of his retirement, he was the highest rated passer in NFL history with a 83.4 passer rating.

The Naval Academy retired Staubach’s jersey number in 1964, and in 1981, he was enshrined in the College Football Hall of Fame. He was slected to the Cowboys Ring of Honor in 1983, and in 1985 he was elected into the Pro Football Hall of Fame.

Legends of the Star is an exclusive weekly feature found only on StarStruck. Each week we will profile one of the many interesting personalities that have played for the Dallas Cowboys.