Waiting for Drew A crowd gathered outside Starrbooks in Gainesville Saturday. The group was waiting to meet former Cowboy’s wide receiver Drew Pearson who was in town to sign copies of his book “Hail Mary: The Drew Pearson Story.”

If you are old enough to remember the Dallas Cowboys football teams of the mid to late 1970s, chances are one of the first players that comes to mind is Drew Pearson.

Pearson was part of the Dallas Cowboys organization when it was still thought of as “America’s Team” — when Roger Staubach was quarterback and Tom Landry methodically paced the sidelines.

Pearson was at StarrBooks from around 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. Saturday to sign copies of his book “Hail Mary: the Drew Pearson Story.”

Pearson took a few moments before the signing for an interview.

The former wide receiver said he is dedicated to doing work that benefits charitable organizations.

He said the message he would like people to take from his book is that “you take the hand that you are dealt in life. You can overcome it.”

“Keep working, keep striving and don’t make excuses about things,” he said.

While he was sitting at a table in the back of StarrBooks, someone handed Pearson a copy of a 1983 Dallas Times Herald with a story about one of Pearson’s great performances during a Cowboy’s game.

“The Times Herald,” he said with a smile. “I don’t think I have this one. I’ve gotta read it.”

Later, he handed over his Superbowl ring so some of the people could hold it and look at it.

“I feel naked when I don’t have it (the ring),” he remarked.

He said he wears the diamond encrusted ring all the time, just not when he mows the lawn.

He said these days he is “in the hat business” — selling his own brand of head wear.

Pearson brought his grandsons with him to the signing, and he apologized for being a little late.

“I think they kind of stretched the distance from Plano,” he told the crowd gathered on the sidewalks outside the book store.

The Gainesville Leopards football team was there are were some of the Gainesville Junior High School cheerleaders performing a few impromptu cheer stunts and selling hotdogs and drinks.

Leisa Boswell — who’s the cheerleading coach at Gainesville Junior High — said the fundraiser was being held to help the girls pay competition expenses and for sweat shirts and other cheerleading gear.

“We had the food donated by Tom Thumb and KGAF,” Boswell said.

“They’re so excited. This is the first time they have officially worn their uniforms,” she said.

When Pearson spoke to the crowd he said, he has long been involved in organizations that help people, especially those in the Metroplex. “Giving back has always been important to me.”

He was speaking to members of the Leopard’s football team when he talked about the sport he said he still loves.

“I played 11 seasons when the Cowboys were really good,” he said.

“I played in seven NFC Championship games. Played in three Superbowls.”

“I feel I was lucky to be able to play with the cowboys and for Coach Tom Landry. He was the best,” Pearson said.

He advised the young football players to “play as long as you can because it’s going to end somewhere, and you’re going to miss it.”

Pearson said although he has not played professional football in 22 seasons, “I still want to run a pass route, and I still can.”

After he stepped away from the microphone, some Leopard players gathered around him. He asked them about Friday night’s game, offering encouragement and advice to the young men.

Kathie Parks — who along with her husband Tim — owns StarrBooks said prior to the event, “This is the second time we’ve had Drew here. Last year about 400 people showed up to hear Drew.”

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