Dallas Cowboys: A Tribute To “Mr. Clutch” Drew Pearson.

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Intro

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There are many legends in the history of the NFL. When it comes to wide receivers, it’s a rare thing for the name of the Hall of Fame worthy wide receiver from the Dallas Cowboys not to come up. Continuing our series of tributes to former Dallas Cowboys greats, I felt it would be an honor and a privilege to profile “Mr. Clutch” Drew Pearson.

Drew Pearson

Former Dallas Cowboys wide receiver Drew Pearson was born on January 12th, 1951 in South River, New Jersey. Pearson began his football career at South River High School. He succeeded Joe Theisman as the quarterback.

DrewPearson7College Career:

Following a colorful high school career, former Dallas Cowboys WR Drew Pearson went on to the University of Tulsa. He was originally recruited as a quarterback. After only four starts as a sophomore in college, the coaches decided to convert him to a wide receiver before the beginning of the 1971 season. (Current Dallas Cowboys wide receiver Cole Beasley is also a converted quarterback.) As a junior, he caught 22 passes for 429 yards and three touchdowns. In spite of the fact that the Golden Hurricanes ran a ‘run-first’ offense, Pearson emerged with 33 receptions for 690 yards and 3 touchdowns as a senior.

Obviously, to stat enthusiasts, Drew Pearson’s college career numbers of 55 receptions for a mere 1,119 yards and 6 touchdowns weren’t very impressive. The mistake many scouts made, was overlooking the fact that he averaged 20.3 yards per reception, the fact that he was awarded the university’s President’s Award as the team’s “best spirited and most unselfish” member, and that the offense was geared toward running the ball. (Drew Pearson was inducted in to the Tulsa Hall Of Fame in 1985) Tom Landry of the Dallas Cowboys saw things in a different light.

Professional Career:

Drew Pearson went undrafted in 1973, but the Dallas Cowboys signed him as an undrafted rookie free agent. In spite of requests by some of the assistant coaches to cut Pearson, Tom Landry admired his heart, love of the game and his “Rudy” like work ethic. Landry paid no mind to what anyone else said about him being too small, too slow etc, and kept him around. It paid off in spades. Drew Pearson went on to become one of the best wide receivers in NFL history. He attained career records of 489 receptions and 7,822 receiving yards, along with 189 rushing yards, 155 yards returning kickoffs, and 50 touchdowns: 48 receiving and two as a result fumble recoveries. Drew Pearson was named one of the NFL’s Top 20 All-Time wide receivers. Drew Pearson was also awarded for his achievements by being named to the NFL 1970s All-Decade Team.

DrewPearsonDrew Pearson was named All-Pro three times (1974, 1976 “77), All-NFC in 1975, and second Team All-NFC in 1978. In addition, Pearson was a Pro Bowler in 1974, 1976 and 1977. Pearson led the NFC in pass receptions in 1976 with 58. As a result of his excellent leadership ability, he was elected to be an offensive captain for the Dallas Cowboys in 1977, 1978, 1982 and 1983.

Drew Pearson helped lead the Dallas Cowboys to three Super Bowl appearances. In 1978 he played a major role in the Cowboys winning Super Bowl XII. Pearson scored a touchdown in Super Bowl X as well.

In 1979, Drew Pearson, Tony Hill and Tony Dorsett paved the way for the Dallas Cowboys to become the first team in NFL history to have two 1,000-yard wide receivers and a 1,000-yard running back in the same season. Pearson recorded 55 receptions, 1,026 yards and 8 touchdowns.

DrewPearson5The Dallas Cowboys selected Drew Pearson as their 1980 nominee for the NFL Man of the Year award. Pearson is known as “Mr. Clutch” for his multiple game-winning catches in “clutch” situations. Pearson is most commonly known as the recipient of the “Hail Mary” pass. It was a reception from Roger Staubach that sealed the win in a 1975 playoff game. It is one of the most touted plays in NFL history. Drew Pearson also caught the game-winning touchdown in the 1973 playoff game against the Los Angeles Rams and the game-winning touchdown pass (from reserve quarterback Clint Longley) in the 1974 Thanksgiving game against the Washington Redskins.

In 1994 all three of those plays were named among the Top 75 plays in NFL history by NFL Films. All were included on a video and/or DVD by the same name.

In the 1980 playoff game against the Atlanta Falcons, Drew Pearson’s clutch receptions played a major role in the Dallas Cowboys Miraculous comeback. In the 1981 NFC Championship Game against the San Francisco 49ers, Drew Pearson made a game changing catch in the final moments of the game. It was a long pass from Danny White that would’ve been a touchdown and won the game for the Cowboys, but the 49ers cornerback Eric Wright made a one-handed tackle, stopping him just outside of field-goal range. Former Dallas Cowboys quarterback Danny White, fumbled on the next play, sealing the victory for the 49ers. This untimely blunder by Danny White, put the SF 49ers in to Super Bowl XVI. Dallas Cowboys fans around the globe wanted his head on a platter. Unlike his predecessor, Roger Staubach, Danny White seemed to be “the lil engine that couldn’t”.

The Story continues on the next page. Click on the Continue link below my Author Bio.

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  • MichaelValentino

    Love Drew Pearson and love this tribute. He was clutch. He rarely dropped the ball. He made the big catch in big games. I think the Cowboys were playing the Giants one game. Pearson scored and went up to do a fancy spike, landed funny and buckled his right knee. He was in obvious pain. Heck, it hurt watching it. Drew goes back to the bench and he could feel Tom Landry staring a hole through him. After the defense held, when the offense went back on the field, he showed no mercy to Pearson. Coach knew Pearson was hurting. So, what does Landry do? He calls a deep route. To Pearson! Drew had to reach deep down inside to run that route. Drew lined up far left, the X receiver in that formation. He had to run a deep post. Drew hauled in the deep bomb for another TD – on back-to-back possessions. He probably ran that route out of fear. If he didn’t make the play, he’d have to face a very unhappy Tom Landry. lol.

    • MichaelValentino Ya i saw drew tell that story in the Tom Ladry football life video

    • Thank You for the kind words

    • Football Mensa

      Michael I remember that play like 10 minutes ago. Landry could do the glare like no one else.

      • MichaelValentino

        Football Mensa Pearson wanted to dig a hole and crawl into it. He didn’t even want to make eye contact with Landry. That was funny.

        • Football Mensa

          It was hilarious because we didn’t have to run the play or look at Landry….lol

        • MichaelValentino

          Football Mensa Exactly! I’ve gotten “the look” from my wife many times (I tend to do a LOT of stupid things) and that is scary enough….but ” the look” from Landy. Man, I think I’d have peed myself. lol

        • Football Mensa

          Does your wife wear a fedora ? lol…I hear ya Mike. We have all gotten that look…from our wife….

        • MichaelValentino Football Mensa My dad has that same type of look.

        • MichaelValentino

          Football Mensa rofl

        • MichaelValentino

          CowgirlCas22 MichaelValentino Football Mensa except you, Cas, never do anything bad to make him give you the look, right? …uh, am I right? lol

        • Football Mensa

          LOL Cas….We’ll call it the Landry Glare from now on…

        • MichaelValentino

          Football Mensa Mensa…ur nuts.

        • MichaelValentino CowgirlCas22 Football Mensa I am pleading the 5th.  I also have Lawyer friends in low places lol

        • MichaelValentino

          CowgirlCas22 MichaelValentino Football Mensa I’m starting to  think you and Mensa have friends in the mob, too. lol

        • Football Mensa

          Me and Cas will go godfather on ya ass in a heartbeat….

        • Football Mensa

          Sad thing Michael, is I actually do know a mob guy…and get this . He is a Pats fan…lol

        • MichaelValentino

          Football Mensa It makes perfect sense! So, tell me….what were his connections to Spygate? lol

        • MichaelValentino Football Mensa I am sure some of my clients are connected  most designers are italian

        • MichaelValentino

          Football Mensa I’m suddenly thinking “witness protection program.” Now… how do I explain my absence to the wife?

        • Football Mensa

          LMAO…….that’s friggnin funny. I will email you some stories about him one day….dude makes more in 1 day betting football (legit mind you) than all of will make combined in our lifetimes….it’s staggering the money he makes betting football.

        • MichaelValentino

          CowgirlCas22 MichaelValentino Football Mensa Some of them “must know a guy who knows a guy”. 🙂

        • Football Mensa

          LMAOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO Cas….

        • Football Mensa

          We will give her money, she will never miss you…lol

        • MichaelValentino

          Football Mensa man….don’t tell him I made the “Spygate” comment. Blame it on some Steelers fan. 🙂

        • MichaelValentino

          Football Mensa She’d rather have the money!  lolllllllllllll

        • Football Mensa

          LOL….gonna tell Mrs. Valentino….HA !….

        • MichaelValentino

          Football Mensa she’d agree with me though. 🙂

        • Football Mensa

          LOL Michael…..good stuff you two. I gotta run I am going to Los Amigos to eat. Best Rita’s in Houston and it’s just a little hole in the wall…

        • MichaelValentino

          Football Mensa Sounds good. see you tomorrow Mensa. thanks for the laughs…. we sure strayed from football. lol

        • Football Mensa

          it can’t be football all the time….gotta have some fun with it

    • Michael Shafer

      This is weird to find this article and to find fellow fans that are as passionate as I am about this Great Player! I am 49 years old now and there isn’t another player in all the sports I have watched in my life that can even compare to Drew Pearson! I was huge Dallas Cowboy fan from the time I knew what football was. I grew up in San Antonio TX and pretty much everyone I knew was a Cowboy’s fan. Everyone Loved Roger Staubach and Tont Dorsett and so did I, but everyone who knew Me had no doubt who My favorite player was. I had a shirt with the Cowboy’s helmet on the front and on the back it said Lil’ Drew! That was my nickname from elementary throughout my high school years. Some of my lifelong friends still call Me that to this day. My game room in my house today has a great pick of the “Hail Mary” above my stadium seats from Texas Stadium. Everyone always ask Me “what made you become such a die hard fan of Drew?” My answer is pretty simple, He was and still is the most clutch receiver and player I have ever seen!! Game after game when it was third and twelve or third and whatever, and everyone in the world knew who the ball was going to, He always made the catch!!!! Like other people mentioned, the 81 NFC divisional playoff game was it for Me! When the game looked completely over and the Cowboys were doomed, Drew scored two touchdowns in less than 3 minutes!! Everyone always talks about the “Hail Mary” which was unbelievable, but He had so many plays that were game winning dangers to the other team! Everyone also remembers the “catch” by Dwight Clark in the NFC Championship game. Nobody would remember it if it wasn’t for the lucky but great jersey tackle the defensive player made on Drew around mid field. There was nothing but open field and the end zone had He not made the play. Danny White got Hit and fumbled the following play and that was it!!
      OK I will end on this, how can a Great receiver/player who was one of only two receivers named to the all Decade Team of the 70’s not be in the Hall of Fame?? The other receiver is Lynn Swann. Swann no doubt was a great receiver, but Drew has better stats in every category except TD’s, I believe Swann has one or two more career TD’s! Drew has better numbers in every other catagory! If anyone says “well Swann won more Superbowls” my answer would be, yeah but it is a “team” sport and again Drew has better numbers!! Swann has been in HOF for 15 years!! If people don’t believe there is an East Coast bias and a Bias against the Cowboys in general, they are not truth tellers!!! It is a shame on the HOF that Drew Pearson isn’t in it! I hope one day soon they will come to their senses and put this Man in where He so deservingly belongs!?!?!

  • Football Mensa

    Cas you know what’s a bummer about being young like you ? You didn’t get to see the HAIL MARY !! LOL….I was in 6th grade when that play  happened. We had company that day and no one was watching the game but me. I was almost in tears because I thought Dallas was going to lose. I was moping throwing whatever I could get my hands on and then KA—POW!!!!!! Pearson catches the ball , I jumped up and screamed YES YES YES YES (there isn’t enough room for all the yes”s I screamed). I was jumping up and down and my mom runs into the living room and ask what happened to me…..I just yelled  “WE SCORED”….God I loved my COWBOYS…Jerry has taken that away from all of us.. I hate him.

    • Football Mensa lol but i did get to see it, just not at the time.

      • MichaelValentino

        CowgirlCas22 Football Mensa goooood answer. lol

      • Football Mensa

        LOL Cas……God it was a beautiful thing….watching Vike fans get all pissed off…..LOL

        • MichaelValentino

          Football Mensa I’m still not sure how Cowboys fans got out of Metropolitan Stadium alive that day. haha

        • Football Mensa

          LOL…

        • MichaelValentino Football Mensa good point

      • Football Mensa

        Cas I would like to be young like you again as long as I could have my 70’s memories…

    • MichaelValentino

      Football Mensa I think Drew pushed off a little on that play. shhhhhhhhhhh…that stays here. Capiche?! 🙂

      • Football Mensa

        NOPE !!!! Momentum swung his arms….it’s how you word it…

        • MichaelValentino

          Football Mensa You, sir, are a genius! (Probably a well-paid defense attorney too) lol

        • Football Mensa

          LMAO…Nah I’m just a good ol construction guy….I have friends (lawyers) in low places though.

  • Football Mensa

    Cas tweet your link again to the Pearson story and I will retweet it…

    • Football Mensa ok will do

    • Football Mensa drew pearson retweeted my story to over 177,000 followers lol.

  • Defense 28

    great article cowgirl drew pearson is my brothers all time favorate cowboy. he’s right up there for me also, he was mr. clutch for sure like i always say the original 88. i think he should be in the hall of fame his stats are as good as the steelers 88, but he won the super bowls against us. I really like the fact you made about the tackle that they made on him in 81 nfc champ game alot of people don’t remember that he looked like he was going to break that for a td, next play jim xxxxxxxxx stuckey recovered danny white’s fumble and the rest is history. me and my brother talk about that play in that game all the time and the fact dorsett got injured early. some games never die..

  • ChrisG7

    No question about it the original 88, Mr. Clutch Pearson. That black and white picture is just amazing and its always nice reliving the original glory days. Great tribute