On what was a day that should have been a celebration became more disappointment for former Dallas Cowboys wide receiver Drew Pearson.
On Wednesday, the NFL announced the Pro Football Hall of Fame’s Centennial Class for 2020. As part of the league’s 100th anniversary, a total of 15 former players, coaches, and contributors will be enshrined into the Hall of Fame this year. Former Dallas Cowboys wide receiver Drew Pearson was among the finalists.
In anticipation of getting the phone call telling Pearson he’d finally received the honor of entering the Hall, nearly 40 years after his playing career ended, TV cameras were allowed into his home to capture the moment early Wednesday morning. Unfortunately that call never came.
Instead, the deafening silence of not hearing his name announced only allowed Pearson’s anger and frustration to overcome him with the cameras rolling. It’s a heartbreaking moment I would challenge any Cowboys fan not to be moved by.
Here’s what Pearson said following the realization he had not been named to the Pro Football Hall of Fame’s Centennial Class for 2020 via Jonah Javad of WFAA.
“This hurts. They broke my heart. They broke my heart. And they did it like this. They strung it out like this.”
For former Cowboys like head coach Jimmy Johnson and safety Cliff Harris, it was euphoria this week. They found out their Hall of Fame dreams will come true in 2020. For Pearson, his road less traveled continues.
Originally an undrafted free agent rookie receiver out of Tulsa back in 1973, Pearson was named an NFL All-Pro a mere two years later. The man affectionately known as “Mr. Clutch” would go on to have a stellar 11-year NFL career, all of which spent in Dallas, helping the team win a Super Bowl title in 1977.
For fans of Cowboys, and those lucky enough to have watched Pearson play for the Cowboys from 1973 through 1983, the fact one of the greatest undrafted free agents in league history isn’t in the Pro Football Hall of Fame is a tragedy. At least fans can take some solace in the fact Pearson was inducted into the Cowboys Ring of Honor in 2011, another much-deserved accolade long overdue at the time.
There is no America’s Team without Drew Pearson. There is no Hail Mary without Drew Pearson. There is no legacy of the No. 88 without Drew Pearson. His Hall of Fame story deserves to reside in Canton, Ohio forever.