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Pearson inducted into Texas Sports Hall of Fame

WACO -- Drew Pearson was inducted into his seventh hall of fame Monday night. Seven down, two to go.

The former Cowboys receiver still has dreams of one day being in the Ring of Honor at Cowboys Stadium and in the Pro Football Hall of Fame, though he isn't holding his breath.

"It's been 27 years since I played, so I'm at the point if it happens, it's a blessing; if it doesn't, I've been blessed anyway," Pearson said.

Pearson was among the nine inductees into the Texas Sports Hall of Fame on Monday night, joining Jim Sundberg, the late Clint Murchison, Charley Johnson, Donna Lopiano, John Randle, Emmitt Thomas, the late Willie Wells and Laura Wilkinson.

"It's awesome, man," Pearson said. "A kid from New Jersey going in the Texas Sports Hall of Fame. You can't beat that. It's a very elite class and what makes it above and beyond for me is the fact that [original Cowboys owner] Clint Murchison is being inducted in this class. I will be forever linked with his greatness. That is very special to me, because without him there is no Dallas Cowboys, and there is no Drew Pearson."

Pearson had 489 catches for 7,822 yards and 48 touchdowns for the Cowboys from 1973-83. His career catches are more than seven of the 21 modern-era receivers in the Pro Football Hall of Fame, and his career yards are better than six receivers in Canton.

Pearson, though, is eligible for the Hall of Fame only through the seniors process. Thomas, 67, got into the Hall of Fame as a seniors candidate in 2008. It came 30 years after his retirement from the Kansas City Chiefs.

"I got a chance to play against Drew a few times, and I thought he was a fantastic receiver," said Thomas, who was a defensive back for the Chiefs from 1966-78 and now is the Chiefs secondary coach. "I think he will get his opportunity. I just hope he doesn't have to wait as long as I did, but it's better late than never."

Pearson doesn't need 44 selectors to get him into the Cowboys' Ring of Honor. He needs only the approval of Cowboys owner Jerry Jones, who replaced Tex Schramm as the guardian of the Ring when Jones bought the team in 1989.

The Cowboys have 17 inductees in the Ring, none since Emmitt Smith, Troy Aikman and Michael Irvin went in together in 2005. Roger Staubach has been campaigning for Pearson as have others, including Walt Garrison on Monday.

"Drew was a great receiver, no doubt about it," said Garrison, a running back for the Cowboys from 1966-74. "He deserves to be in the Ring of Honor."

Pearson, 60, was asked what more he might do to convince Jones and the 44 Pro Football Hall of Fame selectors that he is worthy of his place among the all-time greats.

"Maybe about 500 more catches," Pearson said, laughing. "I can still play, but I don't want to get hit. I can catch."

Charean Williams