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He’s been snubbed multiple times, but former Dallas Cowboys wide receiver Drew Pearson may finally get the call he’s been waiting for. It was announced Tuesday that Pearson was nominated by the senior committee and is a finalist for the Pro Football Hall of Fame Class of 2021. His last chance came in January, but he was not part of a centennial class of 10 players who played 25 years ago to hear his name called.

Drew Pearson’s football career

Drew Pearson was known as the Original 88 for being the first in a long line of top-notch Dallas Cowboys wide receivers to wear that number. He played 11 seasons in the NFL, all with the Dallas Cowboys. He was a three-time Pro Bowler and led the league in receiving in 1977.

Pearson, who went undrafted, played a big role in Dallas making three Super Bowl appearances and winning one Super Bowl title. In 1974, Pearson had a career-high 1,087 receiving yards during a time when just 14 games were played in a season. That 1974 season was the first of his three Pro Bowls.

Pearson also made the Pro Bowl in the 1976 and 1977 seasons and he finished his career with 7,822 receiving yards and 48 touchdowns. Statistically, he had his best season in 1979 when he caught eight touchdowns and had 1,026 receiving yards while playing in 15 regular-season games.

Pearson was crushed when his name wasn’t called in 2020

Drew Pearson is the only member of the offense from the 1970s All-decade Team to not be in the Hall of Fame. He thought that might change when he was a nominee last year. He never made it and he became very emotional when his name wasn’t called.

“They broke my heart,” Pearson said, according to CNN. “They broke my heart. And they did it like this! They strung it out like this. Can’t do nothing about it. Can’t catch no more damn passes and can’t run no more routes. It’s there. What upsets me more is when they say you don’t deserve it, they talk negative about you. There’s nothing negative about my career in the NFL. Nothing!”

Pearson has the backing of former Cowboys, including Hall-of-Fame running back Tony Dorsett. Dorsett tweeted, “So disappointed that my man @88DrewPearson wasn’t selected for @ProFootballHOF. He deserves to be there. Great player, great man and great friend.”

Pearson thankful for another opportunity

On Tuesday, Drew Pearson and former head coach Tom Flores were informed they were nominated through the senior committee. They are eligible for enshrinement in 2021. Pearson, again, was emotional when he heard the news.

“Thank you for the call,” Pearson told Hall of Fame president and CEO David Baker upon receiving the news, according USA Today. “You made my day, and you made my life. How can I thank you? I’m crying, and I haven’t cried in a long time. Happy tears. I’ve been waiting for this call for so long.”

The selection process will take place Feb. 6, 2021, in Tampa, Florida, during Super Bowl Weekend. “I know there is one more hurdle to get over, but this is the closest I’ve been,” Pearson said. “This is a dream come true.”


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