DALLAS -- Drew Pearson, a three-time Pro Bowl selection and the all-time Dallas Cowboys receiving leader, was waiting to hear from a doctor whether his football career was ended.
Pearson said Friday that doctors told him that a blow to his liver, injured in a car accident in March, could cause fatal internal bleeding. The 33-year-old wide receiver was to consult with other doctors before announcing whether his 11-year career was over.
'Psychologically, I've prepared myself for it (retirement),' Pearson said Thursday. 'I got some information Tuesday that kind of wiped me out.'
Dallas Coach Tom Landry said he doesn't expect Pearson to return.
'The last time I spoke with Drew was in May, before my vacation and at that time he wanted to play,' Landry said. 'But, after talking to he doctors since that time, Ididn't feel there was any chance he'd be healed enough to play this year.'
Pearson's liver injury resulted from a March 22 accident. Pearson, returning from a trip to Oklahoma with the off-season Cowboys charity basketball team he organized, rear-ended a parked truck at a Dallas freeway exit. The impact killed Pearson's younger brother Carey.
A doctor said it may take another three to six months for the liver perforation to close and that may be too late for Pearson, scheduled to report to the Dallas training camp in Thousand Oaks, Calif., Sunday, to return to football.
'It could be hard for me to keep in shape until mid-October,' Pearson said. 'Nineteen eighty-five? It would be hard for me, at the age of 33, to sit out a year and come back.'
Asked if he will ever play again, Pearson said that is unlikely. He said he will pursue a career in sports broadcasting and also is interested in a front office job with a professional team.
Pearson joined the Cowboys in 1973 and went on to catch 489 receptions for 7,822 yards and 48 touchdowns.
'I've had a good 11 years,' Pearson said. 'I've made my name in the NFL, which is all I really wanted to do ... If my career ended tomorrow, I would be satisfied.
'I gave the Dallas Cowboys all I had for 11 years. I had to beg them to let me play. They won't have to beg me to leave. I won't continue with a risk. I have to live after football. I won't hamper my life after football.'
The Cowboys said Pearson's replacement apparently would be Doug Donley, a fourth-year player form Ohio State, who ranks just behind running back Tony Dorsett as the fastest player team. Tony Hill is the other wide receiver and the No. 3 all-time Cowboys' pass catcher. The only other veteran wide receiver on the roster is Mike Renfro, acquired from Houston in an off-season trade for Butch Johnson.
'For now, we'll go with Hill, Donley and Renfro and what we come up with from the rookies,' said Landry. 'I think our receivers will be good enough to win football games and Hill should play a bigger role this year.'