The old "Cowboys bias" theory long floated about the Pro Football Hall of Fame is officially buried, further put to rest by next week's enshrinement of three more Dallas legends. But how do the folks in Canton, Ohio plan to cram two classes into one weekend?
With a "home delivery" of sorts.
When the Cowboys officially kick-off football season against the Pittsburgh Steelers Thursday night in the Hall of Fame Game, it will commence likely the busiest weekend in the history of Canton. The 2021 class – including former Cowboys’ receiver Drew Pearson and head coach Jimmy Johnson – will be inducted. But also, let’s not forget the class of 2020 – including former Cowboys’ safety Cliff Harris – that was postponed last year by COVID.
To fast-track the process, PFHOF organizers will limit 2020 presenters to videotaped “speeches.”
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“They came right to my house and taped it,” says former Cowboys’ safety Charlie Waters, who will present his co-safety and long-time friend, Harris. “It’s going to be strange to squeeze two of them together, but Cliff feels like his class is going to get the attention it deserves. I’m satisfied that my video will represent my feelings about Cliff.”
The 2021 class is expected to have live presenting speeches, as is the event's norm. Iconic quarterback Roger Staubach will present Pearson for induction and Troy Aikman, a 2006 inductee, will pave the way for his first NFL coach, Johnson.
Waters says he will travel to Canton for the ceremony and the unveiling of Harris’ immortal bust. Highlight of his presenting speech:
“Every week coach Landry would show us an offensive player from the other team that we had to key on … that we couldn’t let beat us. Well, Cliff just went out and knocked about half of them out of the game early. He had a vicious way of following the game plan.”
With the additions of Pearson, Harris and Johnson, the Cowboys will have 20 representatives in the Hall of Fame. The Chicago Bears have the most with 30.