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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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Can Dez Bryant Continue the Dallas Cowboys’ Legacy of Number 88? 5

Posted on July 24, 2010 by Dean Hybl

Michael Irvin wore number 88 during his Hall of Fame career for the Cowboys.

The Dallas Cowboys made a nice move becoming the first NFL team to have their first round pick from the 2010 NFL Draft signed and ready to start training camp following the signing of wide receiver Dez Bryant to a five year, $11.8 million contract.

Too often in recent years, talented college wide receivers have hindered their NFL development by holding out for additional dollars. Being able to get Bryant’s contract out of the way should be a positive for both the team and the young receiver.

Playing in Dallas and for Jerry Jones is pressure enough, but Bryant will be under extra pressure in 2010 as he is joining a team that expects to be playing for a championship next February.

Depending on how you look at it, the Cowboys either put even more pressure on Bryant or gave him an amazing vote of confidence (or perhaps both) by announcing that he would be wearing the number 88.

Most teams with a storied history have certain numbers that are special to the franchise. Some teams have chosen to retire many of those numbers, but others have instead been strategic in which players they let wear a number that a previous player in franchise history wore while performing at a special level.

For the Cowboys, number 88 is one of those numbers. It is a number that has been worn with distinction not once, but twice by special wide receivers. Read the rest of this entry →

Top 10 Plays In Dallas Cowboys’ History 9

Posted on July 21, 2009 by Gene Strother

Tony Dorsett had many memorable plays for the Cowboys.

Tony Dorsett had many memorable plays for the Cowboys.

In this installment of the SilverandBlueBlood Top Ten Top Ten, I turn my attention to the top ten plays in team history. In selecting the plays, I considered several factors:

  1. How memorable was it?
  2. What impact did it have on a game, a championship, or a career?
  3. Was it extraordinary?

As you might imagine, a franchise of this caliber, with nearly fifty years of history, has provided more than its share of memorable plays and water-shed moments. I have dutifully sorted through every play in team history (anyone who believes that stand on your head) to compile my list of top ten plays in Dallas Cowboys’ history.

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Best Players Not In the Pro Football Hall of Fame: Wide Receivers 10

Posted on July 08, 2009 by Dean Hybl

Cliff Branch

Cliff Branch

Our position-by-position look at the best eligible players not in the Pro Football Hall of Fame continues with a spotlight on the position where HOF voters have arguably displayed the most inconsistency in their choices: wide receiver.

Perhaps more than any other position, the role and statistics associated with wide receiver has changed dramatically over the last fifty years as the NFL record books have gone from no players with 500 career receptions in 1960 and only four in 1970 to 106 today, including 85 who have joined the club since 1990.

For that reason, the Hall of Fame selectors seem to be in a constant struggle with history to try and deduce which former pass catchers belong in Canton.
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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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