Feb 042013
 
Big, Strong Larry Allen

Big, Strong Larry Allen

New NFL Hall of Famer Larry Allen played on one of the best offensive lines ever assembled. They were the line that cleared the way for Emmitt Smith, the NFL’s all-time leading rusher. They were the line that protected Hall of Fame quarterback Troy Aikman, giving him time to find targets like Hall of Fame receiver Michael Irvin. Without the “big uglies” up front, the Triplets would have been still-born. With them, they were Canton-bound.

And without dispute, Larry Allen was the best of the best. On the best line in the NFL, he was easily, hands down, far and away the best lineman. He was a wrecking ball, a raging bull. Quick, agile and possessive of almost super-human strength, Larry Allen didn’t just block people. He blew them up. He bowled them over. One of the most frightening sights for an NFL defensive player was to see Larry Allen pulling to lead an end run. He was hard enough to deal with in the tight quarters of the interior line. In space, he was impossible. He would find you. And you would wish he had not.

Now, Allen has found his way to the NFL Hall of Fame. He is, rightfully so, a first-ballot inductee. He joins the Triplets and Deion Sanders as the only members of the great ’90s Cowboys to make it this far.

Concerning Allen, David Moore of the Dallas Morning News writes:

Larry Allen is a man of few words.

But Saturday afternoon, when the most dominant offensive lineman in Cowboys history heard his name announced for the Pro Football Hall of Fame, there were plenty of tears.

“I broke down and started crying,” said Allen, who was holding hands with his wife, Janelle, on the bus of owner Jerry Jones when he officially joined the sport’s greats.

Defensive linemen forced to play against Allen during his 14 seasons know the feeling.

Allen played on that wild-and-crazy ’90s team that piled up arrests and various indiscretions with the same zest they piled up wins and Lombardi trophies. Fellow Lineman Erik Williams was involved in the whole “white house” cocaine and women scandal. But—pun barely intended—Larry Allen always kept his nose clean. He was never implicated in even the slightest impropriety. He played well. He lived well. He represented all that is good about professional sports.

Allen joins Rayfield Wright as the only two Cowboys offensive linemen in the Hall of Fame. That seems a sparse, scant number for one of the league’s all-time winningest franchises. Be that as it may, if you were only to choose two, these would be the two.

Here is more of what Moore said:

“It’s great,” Allen said. “Troy, Mike and Emmitt were kind of like big brothers. I looked up to them. They came to work every day and showed me how to do it.

“They all wanted to be the best.”

Allen flew to New Orleans with Jones on the owner’s jet. Jones returned to Dallas on Saturday and was not on the bus when Allen received the news, but he will return and is expected to watch the Super Bowl with Allen.

“Larry is one of the greatest players in Cowboys history, and arguably the very best guard to ever play the game,” Jones said in a statement. “He was obviously a special talent, but the fierceness and tenacity that he brought to the field separated him from the rest of the pack.

“I have never been more proud of anyone who has reached the Pro Football Hall Fame. Larry Allen represents the best of the very best.”

Jones will introduce Allen in Canton.

Larry Allen was a favorite of  Hall of Fame coach John Madden during Madden’s career as a color analyst. He often gushed over Allen, calling him one of the most dominant offensive linemen to ever play the game.

Madden was right.

Boom! Hall of Fame.

Here is Allen in his rookie season…

Gene Strother (375 Posts)

Gene has been an avid Dallas Cowboys fan for nearly five decades, which amounts to just about his entire life. The only time he was not a Cowboys fan was that brief period at the beginning of his life, when he didn't have all his baby teeth and could not yet say "Cowboys." As soon as quit slobbering, he started hollering, "Go Cowboys!"


0 comments