CANTON, Ohio (CBSDFW.COM/AP) – “The wait is over!” Drew Pearson, Dallas Cowboys’ “Original #88,” made his excitement known as he entered the Pro Football Hall of Fame after waiting for over 30 years.
Pearson was inducted into the shrine Sunday evening as a senior member.
The former standout receiver for Dallas from 1973-83 was a three-time All-Pro who made the NFL’s 1970s All-Decade Team. He was the only position player from that squad not in the hall.
Pearson, of course, caught Roger Staubach’s winning touchdown pass in a 1975 playoff game at Minnesota that is considered the original Hail Mary. But he should be recognized for 557 catches, including postseason, for nearly 9,000 yards and 56 touchdowns.
“This confirms it,” Pearson said after noting his bust’s hairdo. “I had the biggest Afro in NFL history.”
“The wait is over! How about that! A tough long journey on the road less traveled,” he said.
In what will be a memorable enshrinement moment, Pearson took the opportunity to thank front office legend Gil Brandt for scouting him and taking a chance on the undrafted receiver.
And with that @dallascowboys @ProFootballHOF member @88DrewPearson with a moment @TheCityofCanton will never forget. The original 88 showing off what he calls the skinniest legs to ever get into the Hall of Fame @CBSDFW @CBS11Sports pic.twitter.com/V7s3MqCPcn
— keith russell (@krussellcbs11) August 8, 2021
“Thank you hall of famer Gil Brandt for your innovative ways and out-of-the-box thinking that led you to Tulsa University, giving a skinny-legged kid, 170 pounds, an opportunity,” Pearson said as he walked in front of the podium and lifted his pants to show off his legs.
“These legs got me into the Pro Football Hall of Fame!” he exclaimed.
Pearson was one of three Cowboys players to enter the Hall of Fame this weekend. Safety Cliff Harris and coach Jimmy Johnson were inducted on Saturday as part of the 2020 class.
(© Copyright 2021 CBS Broadcasting Inc. All Rights Reserved. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)