There’s only one way to keep Tom Brady from winning another ring:
After a 33-year snub, the only member of the NFL’s All-Decade Team of the 1970s not to be inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame is finally going in. The original number 88, Drew Pearson, was announced last night as a member of the 2021 Hall of Fame Class and will be officially inducted in Canton in August. Drew becomes the 20th Dallas Cowboy to receive this immortal distinction.
I’ve still not heard a legitimate attempt by anyone associated with the Hall of Fame voting as to why Drew has been neglected for so many years. It’s not just a head-scratcher of a mystery for everyone who cares about such things, it’s a travesty of justice. Not only has Drew been the only member of the 1970s All Decade Team to be left out, he is the only wide receiver of any All-Decade team to not be inducted. Not only that, he is the only offensive player from any All Decade Team since 1930 to not be included. It’s about time. It’s way past time.
As an undrafted free agent coming out of the University of Tulsa in 1973, Pearson moved from third string to starter during the course of that first season and, by the time of his retirement in 1984, established himself as the greatest receiver in Cowboys history. He played all eleven years in Dallas, helping lead the Cowboys to seven conference championship games and winning three, three Super Bowls and winning Super Bowl XII over the Broncos. During an era when NFL teams ran first and threw later, Drew amassed 489 catches for 7,822 yards and 48 touchdowns, plus an additional 68 catches for 1,131 yards and eight touchdowns in 22 playoff games. That kind of consistency made him a team captain and an NFL superstar, his last-second 50-yard hip-grab of Roger Staubach’s “Hail Mary” in Minnesota made him a legend, and his rightful place in the Hall of Fame cements his status as a football immortal.
I had the great honor of working with Drew during my mediocre sports radio career in Dallas. I interviewed him many times on the phone and in person between 2000 and 2005 and once talked him into co-hosting my three-hour talk show with me before the 2005 draft. You’ve never met a nicer guy. A more humble and gracious guy. A more down-to-earth human.
Congratulations, Drew Pearson. You truly deserve this outstanding recognition.
That’s good company right there.
Sixty-six years ago today, Edward Van Halen was born in Amsterdam. When he was seven, he and his family moved to Pasadena, California. Eddie and his brother Alex formed a rock band in 1972 and released the most iconic debut album in music history in 1978. And every rock-and-roll guitarist since has wanted to be Eddie.
In honor of the world’s all-time greatest guitarist, check out this video from a 1995 Van Halen concert in Toronto. And be amazed. When he breaks into “Cathedral” at about the 6:30 mark, be blown away that any human can make a guitar do that. Eddie Van Halen did not invent the electric guitar, but he owned it. Mastered it. Dominated it.
Which would be more of a devastating gut-punch to the Cowboys? To lose to the Giants at the very last second in a dramatic catastrophic collapse? Or to come from behind to beat the Giants, pack up and fly to DFW, think about the next week’s potential playoff opponent during the flight, drive home, sit down in front of the TV, and watch the Eagles jump offsides on Washington’s fourth-and-one to hand WFT the NFC East and get knocked out of the playoffs at 10:30 at night?
I think scenario #2 would have been a lot more fun, but history dictates it was always going to be scenario #1.
Either way. So juicy.
Trailing by four points a little over midway through the fourth quarter, Dallas started at their own 25-yard line and methodically marched to the Giants seven. Confidently. Triumphantly. The Cowboys overcame three third downs and converted a fourth-and-two on what was an unheard of 17-play drive. It felt like some kind of devilish destiny. The Cowboys are terrible, but the Giants, yes, are probably worse. It looked like Dallas was going to win this lousy game and subject all of us to another week of the Mike McCarthy inspiration tour. In the driving sleet in an empty Giants Stadium, Dallas had a first-and-goal at the New York seven yard line. I felt sick to my stomach.
But, then, history took over and all was made right in the football world.
1st down – shotgun formation, Dalton sacked for a ten yard loss
2nd down – shotgun formation, Dalton incomplete across the middle to CeeDee Lamb
3rd down – shotgun formation, Dalton pressured, forced to his left, lofts a dying duck to the middle of the end zone that is intercepted by Giants rookie Xavier McKinney
Dalton said after the game he was throwing it up for grabs, hoping somebody would make a play. He told reporters he wishes he had thrown the ball out of bounds since it was only third down. Hmm. Sounds reasonable.
We all should have seen it coming. We knew the Cowboys weren’t going to punch it in there. Of the myriad Cowboys issues this season, one of the more glaring is their inability to score touchdowns inside the Red Zone. Dallas took four trips inside the New York 20-yard line yesterday and came away with only one touchdown. Each of the other three trips was stymied by a Dalton sack. Dallas scored touchdowns on only 27 of their 54 Red Zone opportunities this year. Too many field goals. Too little imagination.
The longer historical narrative should also have comforted us. The Cowboys always lose when they’re playing a divisional opponent in the season finale with a playoff spot on the line. Five times since 2008, Dallas has needed a win against another NFC East team on the last day of the season to qualify for the playoffs, and all five times they have lost.
2008 Philadelphia 44-6
2011 New York 31-14
2012 Washington 28-18
2013 Philadelphia 24-22
2020 New York 23-19
So, the next time it happens, maybe as early as next season, you can bet on Dallas to lose to WFT or WFC or whatever Snyder’s calling that outfit then. And it’ll be just as satisfying.
Scattershooting while wondering whatever happened to Julio Franco…
The sign has arrived and it’s finally becoming a reality: Amarillo will have a Chuy’s restaurant and it will open in mid-January! For two years we’ve been teased with rumors of land purchases and permits, remodeling and renovations, strategy revisions and pandemic delays. I had just about given up hope when the truck and trailer rolled into town carrying that big beautiful sign! If everything can continue now on schedule, move over Abuelo’s! In less than three months, it’s all chicken enchiladas with the Boom Boom sauce and that green chili rice!
My great friend, college roommate, Delta brother, and roofing partner Mike Osburn is running for re-election as an Oklahoma State Representative from the district that includes our old Edmond stompin’ grounds. His new TV ad features his wonderful wife, Holly, and their three kids, and it’s terrific.
Following their 5th loss of the season on Sunday, the Dallas Cowboys made big news yesterday by signing a backup punter to the practice squad. Yes, you read that correctly. Special teams director John Fassell says they signed Hunter Niswander as insurance, in case of an injury to Chris Jones or Greg the Leg. That’s right. Not a defensive back or linebacker, not an offensive lineman. This team now has two punters. With their turnover ratio at -13, do they even need one?
In his one-and-a-half quarters of relief for the concussed Andy Dalton, Cowboys quarterback Ben DiNucci suffered more sacks against Washington Sunday than completed passes. His line after the game was that, coming out of James Madison University, he’s never really seen pass rushers like Chase Young. Oops.
If I’m being generous — very, very, very generous — I can’t see the Cowboys finishing this season at anything better than 5-11. If they split with every team in this atrocious division and if they split their games against Minnesota and the Bengals (a big IF), they’ll finish with a Dave Campo record. And Jerry Wayne will say they’re just one offensive lineman and one defensive playmaker away. Or punter.
We’re celebrating another fabulous Missions Sunday here at Central. After sharing the communion meal together with our 14 local and foreign missions partners, our church family gave $335,296 towards our missions efforts in 2021! That’s a lot of money for one church our size to give in one day! And it’s still coming in! Praise the Lord! I’m so blessed by our God to belong to a church that puts God’s mission to others at the front and center of our existence and then puts it money there, too. This is such a deep part of who we are as a congregation. This is the way we express our faith in God and experience the abundance of his blessings. And this is one of the most significant ways we’re all connected.
This is the worst of the worst in the NFL, the teams that have gone the longest at being the most irrelevant. This is the company the Cowboys have been keeping since 1995. The Cowboys are not one player or one coach away. The Cowboys are the Bengals and the Lions and the Dolphins.
At least it can be said that we are watching history with this current version of the Cowboys. Only three teams in the history of the NFL have given up more than the 218 points Dallas has given up in its first six games. The last time it happened was in 1961. Statistically speaking, we are watching the worst defense in the NFL in my lifetime! Arizona averaged almost seven-and-a-half yards per play last night!
But it’s not just the defense. Eighty-four of those 218 points given up this year have come off Dallas turnovers. The Cowboys committed four more in last night’s debacle against the Cardinals, two on fumbles by the highest paid running back in NFL history on back-to-back possessions. Andy Dalton looked lost. And the Cowboys may as well have set up five chairs on the line the way the Cards defense was running through to the backfield.
On this day in 1950, Thomas Earl Petty was born in Gainesville, Florida. At the age of 26, with his band of mostly childhood friends, The Heartbreakers, he released their self-titled debut album and I had a rock-and-roll companion I could grow old with. In his memory, check out this promotional video of a little-known deep cut from that first album, “Anything That’s Rock ‘n’ Roll.”
I love the rebellious teenage angst lyrics in that song. This is the young Tom Petty, but anybody could see he was already a genius at turning a phrase and writing a really good lyric:
“Your mama don’t like it when you run around with me / but we got to hip your mama that you got to live free.”
While we’re at it, here are my favorite lines from the other nine songs on that first Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers album.
“I can’t stop thinkin’ about how I dig rockin’ around with you.”
“There is no sense in pretending / your eyes give you away / something inside you is feeling like I do / we’ve said all there is to say.”
“Said it’s so good, said it’s unreal / might not last, but it’s no big deal.”
“Well, the moon sank as the wind blew / and the street lights slowly died.”
“A roar turned into whispers.”
“You never said you had no number two / I need to know about it if you do / If two is one, I might as well be three / it’s good to see you think so much of me.”
“You got ruby lipstick, rose petal rouge / dime store jewelry, cheap perfume.”
“White light cut a scar in the sky / thin line of silver / the night was all clouded with dreams / wind made me shiver.”
“Well, she was an American girl, raised on promises / she couldn’t help but thinkin’ that there was a little more to life somewhere else / after all it was a great big world / with lots of places to run to / and if she had to die tryin’, she had one little promise she was gonna keep.”
Great Cities Missions has released a really wonderful video that highlights the missionaries, church planters, and congregations they equip and support all over Latin America and in Spanish-speaking churches in the U.S. The video is hosted by Grant Boone of CBS Sports, a great friend of GCM, and it really captures the passion of Kelley and Brian and Chris and all our great partners in this extraordinary Gospel organization. Junior and Patricia Lira are featured at the beginning, Byron and Sandra Cana are seen passing out food and resources in Bogota, Max Lucado makes an appearance at the end, and our own Leon Wood’s surprise cameo steals the whole thing! Watch the video; you’ll be encouraged and inspired.
At Central, we are incredibly honored and blessed to be founding partners with Great Cities Missions for almost 50 years. And we love celebrating our friendships during Missions Month and giving the glory and praise to our God.