When you hear the name Drew Pearson what comes to mind? Football great? Super Bowl winning wide receiver or Dallas Cowboys legend? To us here at NBC 5 and NBCDFW.com, we call him colleague and friend. In fact, it's hard not to be in awe of Pearson when he walks a room. The years have been very good to him and he has managed to keep marketing his name or brand, if you will, in a positive way for the past 27 years.
"I came in humble, and so making it and everything that happened after it, was gravy because I almost didn't get that opportunity. I almost didn't get that chance," said Pearson.
Pearson also doesn't forget where he comes from and is the first to give an even bigger legend, coach Tom Landry, much of the credit for his success. When you talk to Pearson about Landry, you can't help but clue into the respect he feels for Landry and what the coach did for Pearson and his career.
"What made him special was his attention to detail. He was very much a disciplinarian, and to me that is the only way you play football," said Pearson.
After retiring from football, Pearson did anything but slow down. He coached for a while, was a weekend sports anchor in San Antonio, set up his own business with friends and, most recently, offers his expert analysis on Out of Bounds with Newy Scruggs.
"Newy gets on me all the time, 'You put your make up on yet?'" said Pearson. "I enjoy doing it. It's a great gig. I appreciate the opportunity when it came 5 years ago and I appreciate it as much today as we head into our sixth season. It's a good way for me to stay in tune with the Cowboys and stay in touch with what is going on."
Pearson doesn't show any signs of slowing down, despite the fact is almost 60, (sorry for outing you Drew) an age when many people start thinking about retirement. But, that's not Pearson.
"I've been doing a lot fortunately and fortunately for me there has been a lot of life for me after football," said Pearson.
Despite the fact he has been out of the league for 27 years, Pearson is still asked to make public appearances, including autograph sessions. Just recently all three players who have worn the number 88 jersey attending an event all together. Those players would be Pearson, Hall of Famer Michael Irvin and the player who has a lot to live up too, Dez Bryant.
"It gets people to think about the 88's," said Pearson "Michael, Dez and I all talked about it. We've done some things together. I've done autograph sessions with Dez, I said, 'Hey Dez, look at me. I'm siting right here, you are sitting right there. It's been 27 years since I played and I'm still signing."
Pearson is also very proud of his family. He raised his two daughters and son here in North Texas and is enjoying being a grandfather. Much like their grandpa, the grandsons have a taste for football and Pearson rarely misses their games, often watching from the sidelines. Or, you can usually catch them at his house all enjoying dinner together after practice.
He also knows he has a bigger purpose than just football.
"I was in a car accident in 84 and lost my brother. And I'm wondering why I am alive and he is gone and I survived and he didn't," said Pearson. "Well I think a big part of it was the good Lord knew I would use my name, my notoriety and recognition and presence and likeness in a positive way to help people."
"So, you know, when I see people, if I can make their day by just shaking their hand, saying hi or signing something, now I feel privileged and special that I'm blessed to be able to do that and so I will do it to the fullest," said Pearson.