- Preston Pearson
DateOfBirth=Birth date and age|1945|1|17|mf=y
Freeport, Illinois, United States
DraftedRound=12 / Pick 298
Pittsburgh Steelers Dallas Cowboys
Preston James Pearson (born
January 17, 1945in Freeport, Illinois) is a former professional American football running backin the NFL who played for the Baltimore Colts (1967-1969), the Pittsburgh Steelers(1970-1974), and the Dallas Cowboys(1975-1980). Before his NFL career, he played for the University of Illinois, where he excelled at basketball. He didn't play college football.
Throughout his NFL career, Pearson was used frequently as a rusher, receiver, and kickoff returner on special teams. He played for some of the most famous teams of his era, and played in 5 Super Bowls (
Super Bowl III, Super Bowl IX, Super Bowl X, Super Bowl XII, and Super Bowl XIII) -- tied for second most all-time [http://www.superbowl.com/history/records/indiv/service] . His best season was in 1975, when he rushed for 509 yards, caught 27 passes for 351 yards, and gained another 391 yards on kickoff returns. He then went on to assist the Cowboys to a Super Bowl appearance by catching 12 passes for over 200 yards and 3 touchdowns in their 2 playoff games, including a 7 reception, 123 yard, 3 touchdown performance against the Los Angeles Ramsin the NFC title game. His team ended up losing the Super Bowl to the Pittsburgh Steelers, but he had a good performance -- rushing for 14 yards and catching 5 passes for 53 yards.
In his 14 NFL seasons, Pearson rushed for 3,609 yards, caught 254 passes for 3,095 yards, returned 7 punts for 40 yards, and gained 2,801 yards on kickoff returns. Overall, Pearson gained 9,545 total yards and scored 33 touchdowns (17 rushing, 13 receiving, 2 kickoff returns, 1 fumble recovery).
During the latter part of his career with the Dallas Cowboys, Pearson was widely recognized as the player who defined the position of "3rd-down back" (now referred to as a "change-of-pace" back), paving the way for current players such as Reggie Bush of the New Orleans Saints and Marion Barber of the Cowboys.
Asia Pacific Football League
During the formation of the
Asia Pacific Football League, Pearson was contracted by the league to consult and assist the league in its organizational efforts. What became of his role is unknown as the APFL never was formed.
* [http://databasefootball.com/players/playerpage.htm?ilkid=PEARSPRE01 Pearson's stats at databasefootball.com]
* [http://pro-football-reference.com/players/PearPr00.htm Pearson's stats at pro-football-reference.com]
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