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A tiny oral history: Drew Pearson trolls Eagles fans at 2017 draft

It might have seemed like it'd be another mundane draft pick from a former NFL star ... but then Drew Pearson took the stage. Perry Knotts/AP

This story appears in ESPN The Magazine's April 23 issue, NEXT. Subscribe today!

Eagles fans packed last year's NFL draft in Philadelphia, and the always welcoming home crowd spent three days booing when every rival team made a pick. But nothing compared to the moment when Cowboys great Drew Pearson came onstage for some troll-playing.

Here's a two-minute oral history of how the draft's most viral moment came to be.

PEARSON: I knew what I wanted to say, and every step I took to get closer to the podium, the louder the boos.

ERIC EMANUELE, PHILLY RADIO HOST WHO WAS IN ATTENDANCE: Pearson is known as a loudmouthed Jerry Jones puppet. So when we saw him roll up, we wanted America to know that we hate the Cowboys. It's nothing personal.

PEARSON: I never intended to deliver the pick with that much enthusiasm and excitement, but I got more and more fired up.

EMANUELE: He started saying "the five-time Super Bowl champions, led by Jerry Jones," and by the time he made the pick [Colorado CB Chidobe Awuzie at No. 60], we had no idea who was selected.

AWUZIE: Let's be honest: It was Drew Pearson's moment. I just happened to be the pick. For the past six months, my mom has watched that clip every day. She knows it word for word.

JASON WITTEN, COWBOYS TIGHT END: I just thought it was fantastic. Drew had swag going in, and he wasn't going to come off of it. The longer and louder they booed, the more stern he got with reading off the statistics over the years.

EMANUELE: I don't know if he understood the severity of going up and giving the middle finger to the whole city. This dude's life was in his hands.

PEARSON: I wasn't worried -- they had good security there. I tried to lock in on the Cowboys fans in the crowd and give them their moment amongst all those Eagles fans. I hope all of them made it out of there safely.

EMANUELE: I don't remember the broadcast showing Jason Garrett and Jerry Jones on the screen, but I'm sure they had some sort of s--t-eating grin on their faces.

JERRY JONES, COWBOYS OWNER, WHO WAS SHOWN, UM, GRINNING ON TV: When I spoke to Drew shortly after that, I told him how his trip to the podium gave all of us in the draft room a huge shot of adrenaline.

PEARSON: Before I got back to the greenroom, my phone was blowing up with interview requests, text messages, even old girlfriends I hadn't heard from in years.

EMANUELE: I hope whoever we send to Arlington to announce picks at this year's draft says "the world champion Philadelphia Eagles" and just goes full-bore a-hole mode.

CHARLOTTE JONES ANDERSON, COWBOYS EXECUTIVE VP: We've created the perfect storm to rev up Eagles fans -- now they get to come back and throw something really big in our face, if they choose to do so. It'll be fun.

PEARSON: I am going to this year's draft -- the Cowboys selected me and DeMarcus Ware as co-ambassadors. But good luck to Eagles fans if they try to mess with me there.

Additional reporting by Todd Archer