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Cowboys Midsummer Madness, Round One: Drew Pearson vs. John Niland

As we head into the summer doldrums, BTB introduces its own form of March Madness to get you through the slow period until training camp: a 64-player "Best Cowboy of all time" tournament! Today’s first round match-up features five seed Drew Pearson facing off against twelve seed John Niland

After a face-off on Friday between an eight seed and a nine seed, yesterday's contest featured a skirmish between two fairly disparately seeded men: a four seed and a thirteen seed. Today, we have another disparate match-up, between the fifth-seeded Drew Pearson, the "original 88," and one of the team's first highly-acclaimed offensive lineman, OG John Niland. Can the twelfth-seeded Niland pull off the upset? Read both bios and make your determination...

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Player: Drew Pearson

Position: wide receiver

Seed: 5

Essentials:

Name Years Career AV Pro Bowls All-Pro RoH HoF
Drew Pearson
1973-83
99
3
3
yes
no

Bio: Pearson was signed by the Cowboys as an undrafted free agent after the 1973 draft, and became one of the team's greatest wideouts, amassing 489 receptions, 7,822 receiving yards and 50 touchdowns over the course of his career. The "original 88" (a misnomer; Pearson was actually the sixth Cowboy to wear that number) was named All-Pro three times (1974, 76, 77; he was a Pro Bowler all three seasons), and was All-NFC in 1975 and second Team All-NFC in 1978. In addition, he was named first team WR by the Pro Football Hall of Fame for its All-1970s Team

Pearson is known as "Mr. Clutch" for his numerous catches in game-winning situations: the game-sealing touchdown in 1973 playoff game against the Rams; the game-winning touchdown pass from reserve quarterback Clint Longley in the 1974 Thanksgiving game against the hated Redskins: the "Hail Mary" reception from Roger Staubach that sealed the victory in a 1975 playoff game versus the Vikings; multiple fourth-quarter touchdown passes from Danny White in a come-from-behind playoff game at Atlanta in 1980.

Selected by Dallas in first round (17th player overall), 1990 … Won rushing crowns in 1991, 1992, 1993, 1995 … Led NFL in rushing touchdowns three times … Major contributor to Cowboys Super Bowl XXVII, XXVIII, XXX victories … Named first-team All-Pro 1992-95 … In 1993, named NFL’s MVP and MVP in Super Bowl XXVIII … 11 straight 1,000-yard seasons … Became NFL’s all-time rushing leader in 2002 … Career totals: 18,355 yards and 164 touchdowns rushing; also had 515 receptions … Born May 15, 1969 in Pensacola, Florida. - See more at: http://www.profootballhof.com/hof/member.aspx?PlayerId=291#sthash.i2MiaRqc.dpuf

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Player: John Niland

Position: offensive guard (LG)

Seed: 12

Essentials:

Name Years Career AV Pro Bowls All-Pro RoH HoF
John Hugh Niland
1966-74
84
6
3
no
no

Bio: The Cowboys drafted Niland in the first round (fifth overall) of the 1966 NFL Draft, and he quickly became the starting left offensive guard; practicing daily against Bob Lilly quickly helped him to become an All-Pro caliber interior lineman. Niland is one of only four offensive lineman in Cowboys' history with at least six Pro Bowl selections (the others were Rayfield Wright, Nate Newton and Larry Allen); he was selected to six consecutive Pro Bowls from 1968 to 1973 and was a three-time All-Pro selection, while only missing two games in his nine seasons with the Cowboys. In the midst of this run Niland, who was especially adept in space, was instrumental in Dallas piling up 252 rushing yards in their 24-3 win over Miami in Super Bowl VI.

Alright, BTBers, which man advances to the next round?

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