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DREW PEARSON

THE ORIGINAL 88

In 11 seasons (1973-1983) with the Dallas Cowboys, Drew Pearson rose from undrafted free agent rookie to one of the Cowboy’s all-time leading receivers, from unknown to legend.  Named to the NFL All-Decade Team of the 1970s by the Pro Football Hall of Fame in 1980, Pearson earned a niche as one of the top clutch receivers in football history.

South River

 

Drew Pearson was born in 1951 in Newark, New Jersey.  He grew up along with six brothers and sisters in South River, New Jersey where he became an outstanding three sport athlete staring in baseball, basketball and as a wide receiver and quarterback at South River High School .  

In 1966 as a sophomore Drew caught his first high school touchdown, a 60 yard touchdown from Joe Theismann.  Drew became Theismann’s favorite go to target leading the South River Rams to an undefeated season in 1966.  

In 1967 Drew followed Joe Theismann as South River’s quarterback.  The 1967 Rams had an good year while only losing 2 games.  As a senior in 1968 Drew led South River to another perfect record earning first team New Jersey All-State honors as Quarterback. 

Ironically, Drew and Joe, of course, went on to enjoy stellar professional careers, each winning a Super Bowl. 

Drew as a wide receiver with the Dallas Cowboys (Super Bowl XII, a game in which the Cowboys beat the Denver Broncos, 27-10) and Theismann as a quarterback with the Washington Redskins (Super Bowl XVII when the Washington Redskins won 27-17 over the Miami Dolphins). 

 

Drew Pearson was inducted to the New Jersey Sports Hall of Fame in 2001.

Tulsa

 

Drew Pearson attended the University of Tulsa on a football and baseball scholarship.  

 

After a time as a duel sport major college athlete Drew exclusively turned to football  starting four games at quarterback as a sophomore.   

 

Prior to his 1971 junior season Drew converted to wide receiver.  He caught 22 passes for 429 yards and three touchdowns.  

 

As a senior, he led the run-oriented Golden Hurricane with 33 receptions for 690 yards and 3 touchdowns. 

 

During his college career at Tulsa he caught 55 passes for 1,119 yards, six touchdowns and had a 20.3 yard average per reception.  

 

Drew received the University’s President’s Award as the team’s “best spirited and most unselfish” member.  

 

In 1985, he was inducted into the Tulsa University Athletics Hall of Fame.  

 

Drew Pearson was inducted to the Oklahoma Sports Hall of Fame in 2008.

NFL

 

In 1973, Drew Pearson was signed as a Free Agent by the Dallas Cowboys, where he rose to become one of the NFL's greatest wide receivers in a predominantly run oriented era in the NFL.  Drew was named to the NFL 1970s All-Decade Team by the Pro Football Hall of Fame in 1980.

 

In 11 seasons with the Dallas Cowboys, Drew Pearson rose from undrafted free agent rookie to one of the club's all-time leading receivers, from unknown to legend earning career records of 489 receptions and 7,822 receiving yards and 50 touchdowns.  

 

Pearson left his mark in the post-season in league record books with his receptions (67) placing him third and his receiving yards (1,105) and touchdowns (eight) ranking him fourth all-time when he left the NFL – all club records at the time of his retirement - and he caught a pass in a club-record 22 consecutive playoff games.

 

During his outstanding career, Drew was also named one of the Top 20 NFL AII-Time Wide Receivers, and selected All-Pro three times ( 1974, 1976 and 1977).

Drew led the National Football Conference (NFC) in pass receptions in 1976 with 58 and served as offensive captain for the Cowboys in 1977, 1978, 1982 and 1983.  In 1980, the Cowboys selected Pearson as their nominee for NFL Man of the Year.  

As a key leader and captain of the Dallas Cowboys Drew played a key role in getting "America's Team" to 3 Super Bowl appearances in the 1970's with a victory in Super Bowl XII in 1978. He also scored a touchdown in Super Bowl X.

Throughout his storied career, Drew caught game-sealing touchdowns.   Drew is known as "Mr. Clutch" for his numerous clutch catches in game-winning situations. 

1973 PLAYOFFS - 83 YARD GAME WINNING TOUCHDOWN

The Cowboys avenged a 37–31 regular season loss to L.A. as two Rams turnovers in the first quarter gave the Cowboys a 14–0 lead.  But the Rams were able to cut the Cowboys lead 17–16 by the fourth quarter. 

 

Roger Staubach threw a short pass over the middle to Drew Pearson, and as the Rams were about to stop Pearson for a short gain, the Rams defensive backs collided and fell, allowing Pearson to scamper untouched for an 83-yard game clinching touchdown.  Cowboys 27 Rams 16

1974 THANKSGIVING DAY GAME

On Thanksgiving Day in 1974, the Redskins were 8-3 and ready to secure a playoff berth with a win against the 6-5 Cowboys in a nationally televised game in Dallas.  

 

With less than 10 minutes left in the 3rd quarter, Washington was leading 16-3, when the Redskins knocked Roger Staubach out of the game.

 

Rookie Clint Longley led the Cowboys to a last minute come from behind victory, throwing a 50 yard touchdown with 28 seconds left.  Cowboys 24 Redskins 23

1975 THE ORIGINAL HAIL MARY

Drew scored a touchdown on one of the most famous plays in NFL history, the Original "Hail Mary" reception from Roger Staubach that sealed the victory in a 1975 playoff game.  

 

The Original Hail Mary in 1975, the 1974 Thanksgiving Day Game,  and the 1973 Playoff 83 Yard Touchdown last minute game winning plays were named among the Top 75 Plays in NFL history by NFL Films. 

In 2011, Drew was selected to join the prestigious Dallas Cowboys Ring of Honor.  Drew Pearson was also inducted to the Texas Sports Hall of Fame in 2011.

With the 2019 NFL season upon us Drew remains hopeful that the deserving call to be inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame will come.  

 

He remains the lone member of the NFL 1970s All-Decade Team not be inducted into Pro Football Hall of Fame.