Imagine the Dallas Cowboys of the 1970s Without Drew Pearson
In 1974, the Cowboys were in a state of transition. Many of the legendary players had retired or were about to retire, and team needed to restock. This was one year before the Dirty Dozen draft, and the team struggled to an 8-6 finish.
It was during that disappointing season that an undersized receiver from the University of Tulsa developed into one of the best receivers in the game. It was thanks to Pearson that we have memories such as the following:
Pearson played during a time when few receivers surpassed the 1,000-yard mark. Between 1968 and 1979, no NFL receiver surpassed 1,200 yard in a single season (though to be sure, some AFL receivers in late 1960s had more yardage), and it was hardly surprising that Pearson led the league in receiving yards in 1977 with only 870 yards. Those stats reflect the era, not the quality of the receivers.
Imagine the images from the 1970s if we removed Swann’s performances in Super Bowls X, XIII, and XIV. Swann caught a total of 16 passes in those Super Bowls, and it was those receptions that put him in the Hall of Fame.
Pearson doesn’t have a realistic shot at the Hall of Fame, bu this omission from the Ring of Honor is ridiculous. Take away Pearson and you take away the Hail Mary play. More importantly, take away Pearson, and there’s a pretty good chance the Cowboys don’t appear in three Super Bowls in a four-year period from 1975 to 1978. The Cowboys struggled for years to replace Pearson after his premature retirement following an auto accident in 1984.
Earlier this week, Roger Staubach strongly endorsed Pearson’s bid for a Ring of Honor induction. Our Friend Jerry then almost predictably blurted out,
“We have yet to address that,” said Jones. “There is no decision there at all. Obviously, it’s always been a question of your Hall of Fame players that deserve a lot of consideration there.
“But there has been no plan, and right now there is no plan to have an inductee into the Ring of Honor this next season. There’s no plan.”
Pearson deserved a place in the Ring of Honor by the end of the 1980s. He should be first in line in 2011 to receive that honor.
Anyway, here are his stats: