Former Dallas Cowboys player Drew Pearson was visibly frustrated and emotional after being passed over for the Pro Football Hall of Fame this week.
Pearson — a Super Bowl champion who played for the Cowboys from 1973 to 1983 — watched a televised presentation of the 2020 Hall of Fame class with friends and family on Wednesday, hoping this would finally be the year he would be given the honor.
“They broke my heart,” a frustrated Pearson, 69, is heard saying in a video posted to Twitter by WFAA anchor Jonah Javad. “They broke my heart. And they did it like this! They strung it out like this.”
“They won’t get me again,” he also said, according to KTVT. “They won’t get me like this again. This is the last one. They’re not gonna screw me again.”
According to ESPN, Pearson was known as “Mr. Clutch” during his time in Dallas thanks to his big plays in important games. He caught 489 passes in his career and scored 48 touchdowns, stats good enough to be named to the 1970s all-decade team.
During his time on the Cowboys, the team never had a losing season and only missed the playoffs once.
Now, Pearson is the only offensive player on that 1970s all-decade team not to be named to the Pro Football Hall of Fame in Canton, Ohio.
To those asking “why post this?”...— Jonah Javad (@JonahJavad) January 15, 2020
Moments after this reaction, Drew Pearson said (verbatim):
“I’m glad you guys were here to catch this because I want everybody to see the disappointment.” 💔
Hopefully, this inspires the HOF voters to change their minds next year. 🙏🏼 https://t.co/4eznj2Z9km
“Can’t do nothing about it,” a tearful Pearson said after the snub, according to ESPN. “Can’t catch no more d— 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!”
After video of Pearson’s reaction went viral — the original clip has been viewed more than 2 million times — NFL stars came to his defense.
“What they did to Drew Pearson is not Right… Original 88,” tweeted current Cowboys star Dez Bryant. “You deserve to be in the hall of fame no if and buts about it… I’m sorry how they are doing you, man.”
Pearson, for his part, tried to stay positive after giving it time to sink in.
“This is the story of my life. Nothing has ever come easy,” he told ESPN. “I came in here as undrafted free agent. I had a bone disease as a kid, went to Tulsa, had three losing seasons in four years, three head coaches in four years, on probation three years, not getting drafted, signing for $150, making the team, overcoming the odds with 100 rookies in camp. Then turning that opportunity after making it. I made All-Pro my second year, had over 1,000 yards my second year.”
“It’s like that Robert Frost poem,” he added. “I’ve taken the road less traveled. My career was always about the road less traveled.”