The NFL unveiled the list of 15 enshrinees to be inducted into the Centennial Slate for the Class of 2020 on Wednesday, which consists of 10 senior players who played more than 25 years ago, three contributors or individuals other than a player or coach and two coaches. The 15 inductees will be joined by five Modern-Era Players, who will be announced the day before the Super Bowl on Saturday, Feb. 2. The announcement was a historical moment as it was the first time a group of inductees were selected during a meeting at the Pro Football Hall of Fame, according to ProFootballHof.com. However, what was a joyous moment for the aforementioned 15 inductees was a moment of extreme disappointment for Dallas Cowboys legend Drew Pearson.
The names of the inductees were revealed during a two-hour airing on the NFL Network’s “Good Morning Football” program. Pearson invited friends, family and a Plano Texas CBS affiliate to witness what he thought would be a milestone to cap his Super Bowl-winning career. He waited for his name to be called, but it wasn’t.
“They broke my heart. They broke my heart. And they did it like this! They strung it out like this,” Pearson said.
The former Cowboys wide receiver played for the franchise from 1973 to 1983 and has been waiting to be inducted for 30 years.
According to CNN, Pearson is the only member of the NFL’s offense team from the 1970’s all-decade team that isn’t in the Hall of Fame.
The Super Bowl XII champion was visibly upset and said through tears, “We thought we were gonna have a good moment. We deserve that moment. Can’t do nothing about it. Can’t do nothing about it. Can’t catch no more damn passes. Can’t run no more routes. It’s there. What upsets me more is when they say you don’t deserve it, they talk negative about you. There’s nothing negative about my career in the NFL. Nothing!”
He added, “You put your hands into fate, your fate in the hands of people and you trust them to do it right… it hurts. They broke my heart.”
Social media appears to be torn about Pearson’s snub, though. While some feel his Hall of Fame induction is long overdue, others are questioning if the oversight has something to do with the speech the former Cowboy made at the 2017 NFL Draft, which was held in front of the Philadelphia Museum of Art and featured a large crowd of Philadelphia Eagles fans. The Cowboys and Eagles fan rival is pretty much a known fact if you’re an avid football fan.
“All right. How about dem Cowboys!” he said. “I want to thank the Eagle fans for allowing me to have a career in the NFL. Thank you.”
Pearson continued, “I am honored as an undrafted free agent to be selected to make the Cowboys’ second-round draft pick … and on behalf of the five-time World Champion Dallas Cowboys, Hall of Fame owner Jerry Jones, Gene Jones and the Jones family, coach Jason Garrett, all the Cowboys players that played before me, that played with me and played after me.”
Former Cowboys wide receiver Dez Bryant tweeted his disappointment about the snub. “What they did to Drew Pearson is not Right… Original 88… you deserve to be in the hall of fame no if and buts about it.. I’m sorry how they are doing you man…,” he said.
As did Tony Dorsett. The legendary Cowboys running back and Hall of Famer tweeted, “So disappointed that my man @88DrewPearson wasn’t selected for @ProFootballHOF. He deserves to be there. Great player, great man and great friend.”
On the other hand, someone noted Pearson’s 2017 NFL Draft speech and tweeted, “Oh we still remember that Draft speech you made Drew Pearson and that was your nail in the coffin.”
Another Twitter user said, “This guy ended his career with 30 less touchdowns than Dez Bryant, and Julio Jones almost has double his career yards in 2 less seasons. There is no legitimate reason why ‘Drew Pearson’ deserves to be the 18th wide receiver inducted into the Hall of Fame.”
Check out the difference of opinions below.