In 11 seasons with the Dallas Cowboys, Drew Pearson rose from undrafted free agent rookie to one of the club's all-time leading receivers, from unknown to legend. Named to the All-Decade Team of the 1970s by the Pro Football Hall of Fame in 1980, Pearson earned a niche as one of the top clutch receivers in football history.
During his career as a Cowboy, Pearson led the team in receptions and receiving yards during four consecutive seasons (1974-77) and recorded two 1,000-yard campaigns. His most memorable catches form a list of some of the great moments in Cowboys history – an 83-yard fourth-quarter touchdown reception to beat the Rams (12/23) in the 1973 playoffs; a 50-yard scoring catch in the closing seconds to beat Washington (11/28) on Thanksgiving Day in 1974; the 50-yard "Hail Mary" touchdown reception in the final 20 seconds to beat Minnesota (12/28) in the 1975 playoffs; two touchdown catches in the final 3:40 at Atlanta (1/4/81) in the 1980 playoffs, the second with 42 seconds left, to rally the Cowboys past the Falcons 30-27.
Pearson became the Cowboys then all-time leading receiver in receptions in 1980 when he passed Bob Hayes' mark of 365 catches and in 1983 surpassed Hayes' club top mark of 7,295 receiving yards. Pearson's totals concluded at 489 receptions for 7,822 yards and 48 touchdowns. Pearson also left his mark in the post-season in league record books with his receptions (67) placing him third and his receiving yards (1,105) and touchdowns (eight) ranking him fourth all-time when he left the NFL – all club records at the time of his retirement - and he caught a pass in a club-record 22 consecutive playoff games.
Pearson was named All-Pro and to the Pro Bowl in 1974, 1976 and 1977 and was a key member of the 1977 Super Bowl XII Championship squad. He led NFC pass catchers in 1976 with 58 receptions and once held the club record for catching passes in 58 consecutive games. He served as an offensive captain on the team during the 1977, 1978, 1982 and 1983 seasons and helped the team win six division championships. In 1979, Pearson and Tony Hill each posted 1,000 receiving yards to become the first NFC receiving duo to post 1,000-yard seasons, and along with Tony Dorsett's 1,000 rushing yards, it allowed the Cowboys to become the first team in NFL history to boast two 1,000-yard receivers and a 1,000-yard rusher in the same season.