Drew Pearson delivers a zinger to Mike Ditka during Hall of Fame speech

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Dallas Cowboys wide receiver Drew Pearson's Pro Football Hall of Fame wait ended officially Sunday night in Canton, Ohio.

Pearson was the first inductee to deliver his acceptance speech Sunday evening, and he came through with his typical candor, humor and energy — not bad for a man who turned 70 in January and looks fit enough to make one of his the catches he became famous for during an 11-year career.

"The wait is over!" Pearson said on stage, flashing his tailor-made gold jacket just in case anyone doubted his credentials.

He added: "The original No. 88 is now enshrined," referring to the Cowboys incredible tradition with that uniform number, which includes fellow Hall of Famer Michael Irvin, Dez Bryant and now CeeDee Lamb.

But that was just the warmup. 

Pearson praised those who helped him along the way, including former Cowboys tight end and coach Mike Ditka. He also threw some pretty funny shade Ditka's way.

Drew Pearson charmed and cracked jokes at his Pro Football Hall of Fame speech for the Class of 2021. (Photo by Gene J. Puskar-Pool/Getty Images)
Drew Pearson charmed and cracked jokes at his Pro Football Hall of Fame speech for the Class of 2021. (Photo by Gene J. Puskar-Pool/Getty Images)

Ditka's final season as a player came with the Cowboys in 1972. Pearson joined the team in 1973, the first year Ditka was an assistant coach working with the receivers.

Pearson got a big laugh when he introduced Da Coach.

"To Mike Ditka, my first receiver coach, who was an All-Pro tight end," Pearson said. "Which means he taught me nothing about how to run routes!" 

That busted up the crowd on hand. It wasn't quite the reaction Pearson got when he famously razzed Eagles fans at the 2017 NFL draft, but it was a funny moment for a player who waited 38 years for his enshrinement. 

And he's likely been sitting on that Ditka line almost as long, too.

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