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Drew Pearson Selected as Finalist for HOF Class of 2021

Drew Pearson Selected as Finalist for HOF Class of 2021

08/18/2020
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Former Dallas Cowboys wide receiver Drew Pearson was selected Tuesday as the Senior Finalist for the Pro Football Hall of Fame’s Class of 2021. He was picked by the Hall of Fame’s Senior Committee, which met virtually.

An undrafted free agent, Pearson played his entire 11-year career with the Cowboys, accumulating 489 receptions for 7,822 yards (16.0 per-catch average) and 48 touchdowns. He was a three-time All-Pro, three-time Pro Bowl selection and a member of the All-Decade Team of the 1970s. He played in 22 playoff games, making 68 catches and scoring eight touchdowns. The 1977 Cowboys won Super Bowl XII with Pearson leading the NFL in receiving yards (870) that season.

“Thank you for the call. You made my day, and you made my life,” an emotional Pearson said near the end of a call from Hall of Fame President and CEO David Baker telling him the news.

“How can I thank you? I’m crying, and I haven’t cried in a long time. Happy tears. I’ve been waiting for this call for so long.”

The Senior Committee, comprised of nine members of the Hall of Fame’s Selection Committee, considers players whose careers ended at least 25 years ago. The eligible 2021 Senior Nominees initially were reduced to a list of 12 candidates. Then five of the nine members (determined on a rotating basis) met to discuss each of the candidates and select the finalist.

This year, Hall of Fame Selectors Ron Borges, Rick Gosselin, Ira Kaufman, Jeff Legwold and John McClain took part. Additionally, Hall of Famers GIL BRANDT and DICK LeBEAU were consultants for the group.

To be elected to the Hall of Fame, Pearson must receive 80 percent voting support by the entire 48-member Selection Committee on “Selection Saturday.” The Hall’s Selection Committee, at its annual meeting to be held Saturday, Feb. 6, 2021 in Tampa, Fla., will consider 18 finalists: a Senior (Pearson), a Coach (Tom Flores, also named Tuesday), a Contributor (to be named Tuesday, Aug. 25) and 15 Modern-Era Finalists (to be determined from a preliminary list announced Sept. 16; trimmed to 25 semifinalists in November and to 15 finalists in January).

Current bylaws call for a class no smaller than four nor larger than eight. Pearson will be voted on for election independent of the other finalists.

“I know there is one more hurdle to get over, but this is the closest I’ve been,” Pearson said. “This is a dream come true.”

The Class of 2021 will be formally enshrined on Sunday, Aug. 8, 2021 during the Pro Football Hall of Fame Enshrinement Week Powered by Johnson Controls in Canton.

SENIOR FINALISTS (ALL-TIME)

Those elected to the Pro Football Hall of Fame are indicated in caps.

1972 – ACE PARKER

1973 – Ole Haugsrud

1974 – TONY CANADEO

1975 – No senior candidate selected.

1976 – RAY FLAHERTY

1977 – BILL WILLIS

1978 – TUFFY LEEMANS

1979 – Marshall Goldberg

1980 – Lou Creekmur

1981 – RED BADGRO

1982 – GEORGE MUSSO

1983 – Mac Speedie

1984 – ARNIE WEINMEISTER

1985 – FRANK GATSKI

1986 – DOAK WALKER

1987 – JOHN HENRY JOHNSON

1988 – Lou Rymkus

1989 – Henry Jordan

1990 – BOB ST. CLAIR

1991 – STAN JONES

1992 – Willie Galimore

1993 – Dick Stanfel

1994 – LEROY KELLY

1995 – HENRY JORDAN

1996 – LOU CREEKMUR

1997 – Jerry Kramer

1998 – TOMMY McDONALD

1999 – BILLY SHAW

2000 – DAVE WILCOX

2001 – NICK BUONICONTI

2002 – GEORGE ALLEN

2003 – HANK STRAM

2004 – BOB BROWN, Bob Hayes

2005 – BENNY FRIEDMAN, FRITZ POLLARD

2006 – JOHN MADDEN, RAYFIELD WRIGHT

2007 – GENE HICKERSON, CHARLIE SANDERS

2008 – Marshall Goldberg, EMMITT THOMAS

2009 – BOB HAYES, Claude Humphrey

2010 – DICK LeBEAU, FLOYD LITTLE

2011 – CHRIS HANBURGER, LES RICHTER

2012 – JACK BUTLER, Dick Stanfel

2013 – CURLEY CULP, DAVE ROBINSON

2014 – RAY GUY, CLAUDE HUMPHREY

2015 – MICK TINGELHOFF

2016 – KEN STABLER, DICK STANFEL

2017 – KENNY EASLEY

2018 – ROBERT BRAZILE, JERRY KRAMER

2019 – JOHNNY ROBINSON

2020 – Cliff Branch, HAROLD CARMICHAEL, JIMBO COVERT, Roger Craig, BOBBY DILLON, LaVern Dilweg, Ox Emerson, RandyGradishar, CLIFF HARRIS, WINSTON HILL, Cecil Isbell, ALEX KARRAS, Verne Lewellen, Tommy Nobis, Drew Pearson, DONNIE SHELL, DUKE SLATER, MAC SPEEDIE, ED SPRINKLE, Al Wistert

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