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Sports Then and Now



Drew Pearson: Mr. Clutch 0

Posted on August 07, 2021 by Dean Hybl

Drew Pearson

The Sports Then and Now Vintage Athlete of the Month is a former NFL wide receiver know as “Mr. Clutch” for his penchant for making big receptions at crucial moments of the game. After waiting for more than 30 years, he is finally earning his rightful place in the Pro Football Hall of Fame as a member of the 2021 Hall of Fame Class.

During his decade with the Dallas Cowboys, Drew Pearson had a habit of making the big catch at the right moment to help the Cowboys time and again snatch victory from the jaws of defeat.

The favorite target of Hall of Fame quarterback Roger Staubach, Pearson was widely recognized as one of the great receivers of his era. Though at the time of his retirement many expected Pearson to easily breeze into the Hall of Fame, his enshrinement was derailed by changes to the game which artificially inflated receiver stats and made the numbers he produced during a time when wide receivers weren’t catching 100 passes a season seem inferior.

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Four Cowboys Among Twenty-Eight Inductees Set to be Recognized at the Pro Football Hall of Fame 1

Posted on August 04, 2021 by Chris Kent
Football fans from everywhere will be flocking to the Pro Football Hall of Fame for the annual induction ceremonies and festivities taking place August 5-9.

With 17 enshrinees in the Pro Football Hall of Fame among players, coaches, and executives who spent their whole careers or made their primary contribution with the franchise, the Dallas Cowboys have always been well represented in Canton, Ohio. This coming weekend of Aug. 7-8, three more primary Cowboys and a fourth who spent only one season in Dallas will be enshrined in the hallowed hall where their busts and bios will be preserved forever. These four Cowboys are part of 19 individuals who will be officially inducted this year. Dallas is one of several franchises with multiple enshrinees this year. Other franchises with multiple inductees who have at least some ties to them include the Pittsburgh Steelers, Indianapolis Colts, Oakland/Los Angeles Raiders, Chicago Bears, Detroit Lions, and Green Bay Packers among others. Both the classes of 2020 and 2021 are being inducted this summer due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic that forced the 2020 enshrinement to be cancelled. The two classes total 28 inductees, nine who were elected posthumously. Special video tributes of these nine will be shown between the live speeches during the two enshrinement ceremonies. Each of them were enshrined in a separate ceremony on April 28 at the Hall of Fame.

Jimmy Johnson, Harold Carmichael, Cliff Harris, and Drew Pearson are the four former Cowboys being inducted this weekend who played or coached in Dallas. Harris and Pearson played their entire careers with the Cowboys and were teammates for much of the 1970s when Dallas appeared in five Super Bowls and won two. Johnson made his mark as head coach of the Cowboys for five seasons from 1989-93 leading them to the franchise’s only back-to-back Super Bowl Championships following the 1992 and ’93 seasons. Johnson also was the head coach of the Miami Dolphins from 1996-99. Carmichael played only one season for Dallas which came in 1984, his final season as a pro after playing 13 years for the Philadelphia Eagles.

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Finally! Congratulations to Hall of Famer Drew Pearson! 2

Posted on February 07, 2021 by Dean Hybl

The Pro Football Hall of Fame voters continued their recent trend of correcting the errors of past committees with the selection on Saturday of “Mr. Clutch” Drew Pearson as a member of the 2021 Hall of Fame Class.

During his decade with the Dallas Cowboys, Drew Pearson had a habit of making the big catch at the right moment to help the Cowboys time and again snatch victory from the jaws of defeat.

The favorite target of Hall of Fame quarterback Roger Staubach, Pearson was widely recognized as one of the great receivers of his era. Though at the time of his retirement many expected Pearson to easily breeze into the Hall of Fame, his enshrinement was derailed by changes to the game which artificially inflated receiver stats and made the numbers he produced during a time when wide receivers weren’t catching 100 passes a season seem inferior.

Ironically, the reality is the exact opposite as though Pearson (and other top receivers from his era) didn’t catch as many passes as the top receivers of the current NFL, the catches he did make were usually crucial to helping the Cowboys become perennial Super Bowl contenders.

Signed by the Cowboys as an undrafted free agent out of Tulsa in 1973, Pearson, who had started his college career as a quarterback before transitioning to receiver, quickly became a key weapon for the Cowboys.  

As a rookie, Pearson caught 21 passes for 373 yards during the final six games of the regular season to become a favorite target of Staubach. He caught five passes for 140 yards and two touchdowns in the regular season finale against the St. Louis Cardinals and the next week caught two passes for 87 yards and two scores in a playoff victory over the Los Angeles Rams.

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Happy Birthday Captain America! 2

Posted on February 05, 2021 by Dean Hybl
Captain America Roger Staubach.

Happy 79th birthday to one of the iconic figures in NFL history, the true “Captain America”, Roger Staubach.

Throughout his nine seasons as the starting quarterback for the Dallas Cowboys, Staubach was known for leading his team to late-game comebacks and improbable victories and thus was also often referred to as “Captain Comeback”.

He seemed to always have the uncanny knack of making the big play needed to lift his team to victory. He led the Cowboys to 23 fourth quarter game-winning drives during his career, including 15 times with his team trailing.

The Cowboys reached the playoffs in eight of his nine seasons as the starting quarterback and he led the Cowboys to the Super Bowl four times (they also reached the Super Bowl in 1970 when he was the backup).

He was named MVP of Super Bowl VI and also led Dallas to the title in Super Bowl XXII.

Staubach was a winner even before joining the Cowboys.

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Comeback Victory Latest in Cowboys’ Dramatic History 1

Posted on September 24, 2020 by Chris Kent

Great drama has always marked the Dallas Cowboys over the decades. In this, the franchise’s 61st season, the Cowboys have always stood out for better or for worse. The franchise has always made major headlines whether it be during the season or in the offseason. In the early 1970’s, legendary head coach Tom Landry went back and forth between Roger Staubach and Craig Morton as his starting quarterback – going as far as alternating them on each play during one game – before naming Staubach the starter. The volatile tendencies of linebacker Thomas “Hollywood” Henderson surfaced later in the decade over drugs, alcohol, his flamboyant play, and high visibility lifestyle. Dallas also played in five Super Bowls and won two in the 1970’s when the team became known as “America’s Team” and took on the persona of the team people love or love to hate which still exists today. The 1980’s saw good teams unable to get over the hump with three straight losses in NFC Championship games. There was also another quarterback controversy, this one between Danny White and Gary Hogeboom between 1983 and 1984. Pressure had mounted on White after losses in three straight NFC Championship games. While Landry appointed Hogeboom as the starter during part of the 1984 season, neither he nor White could lead Dallas to the playoffs that season. The decade ended with new ownership as Arkansas oilman Jerry Jones bought the franchise and hired Jimmy Johnson – his old college teammate at Arkansas – as head coach. That proved fruitful as the Cowboys became the first franchise in NFL history to win three Super Bowls in a four-year span during the 1990’s when they were the team of the decade.

Dallas owner Jerry Jones and head coach Jimmy Johnson parted ways shortly after Dallas won back-to-back Super Bowls in the early 1990’s.

Yet change also came about for the franchise in the 1990’s with the shocking and well-documented breakup of Jones and Johnson due to egotistical control issues. During the 2000’s, Dallas made only four playoff trips and won just one playoff game. While the Cowboys rebuilt in the early 2010’s, they were stuck largely in mediocrity with four 8-8 finishes in head coach Jason Garrett’s nine full seasons on the job sparking a yearly discussion about his job security. In more recent years, Dallas came under the microscope with legal issues off the field as star running back Ezekiel Elliott eventually served a six-game suspension during the 2017 season for violating the NFL’s personal conduct policy based on allegations of domestic violence against his ex-girlfriend dating back to 2016. Drama has always seemed to follow the Cowboys whether it has been good or bad.

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Dallas Cowboys Start New Era as 2020 Season Opens 0

Posted on September 13, 2020 by Chris Kent


It is the start of another new era in Big D for the Dallas Cowboys in 2020 and the biggest change is at the head coaching spot. Former Green Bay Packers’ head coach Mike McCarthy replaces Jason Garrett who is now the New York Giants’ offensive coordinator. McCarthy, the ninth head coach in Cowboys’ history, brings a wealth of NFL coaching experience including a 13-year term as the Packer’s head coach from 2006-18. McCarthy lead Green Bay to victory in Super Bowl XLV following the 2010 season at AT&T Stadium, Dallas’ home facility in Arlington, TX.

Mike McCarthy was named the ninth head coach of the Dallas Cowboys on Jan. 7, 2020.

McCarthy, who was released by the Packers following a 4-7-1 record 12 games into the 2018 season, inherits a team that is in win now mode under the management of team owner, president, and general manager Jerry Jones. Now in his 32nd year with the Cowboys, Jones has grown the franchise into a multi-billion dollar enterprise on his shrewd and aggressive business style. That showed this offseason in making a head-coaching change.

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  • Vintage Athlete of the Month

    • Drew Pearson: Mr. Clutch
      August 7, 2021 | 6:59 pm

      Drew Pearson

      The Sports Then and Now Vintage Athlete of the Month is a former NFL wide receiver know as “Mr. Clutch” for his penchant for making big receptions at crucial moments of the game. After waiting for more than 30 years, he is finally earning his rightful place in the Pro Football Hall of Fame as a member of the 2021 Hall of Fame Class.

      During his decade with the Dallas Cowboys, Drew Pearson had a habit of making the big catch at the right moment to help the Cowboys time and again snatch victory from the jaws of defeat.

      The favorite target of Hall of Fame quarterback Roger Staubach, Pearson was widely recognized as one of the great receivers of his era. Though at the time of his retirement many expected Pearson to easily breeze into the Hall of Fame, his enshrinement was derailed by changes to the game which artificially inflated receiver stats and made the numbers he produced during a time when wide receivers weren’t catching 100 passes a season seem inferior.

      Read more »

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