Larry Allen: A Tribute To The Dallas Cowboys “Beast Of The East”

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In light of Larry Allen’s induction in to the pro football  Hall Of Fame, I felt it was appropriate to re post my Tribute article I did on him back in May.

2013 dallas cowboys training camp in oxnard

For those of us who are life-long Dallas Cowboys fans, we have had the opportunity to experience the bitter and the sweet. Unfortunately, here of late, it has been more bitter than sweet.

The staff here at yourdailycowboysfootballfix.com have decided to not only reflect on those who helped make the Dallas Cowboys the greatest team in NFL history, but pay tribute to them. I have chosen to do my tribute on Hall Of Fame Offensive Guard, Larry Allen.

Image credit: Wikipedia
Image credit: Wikipedia

Whenever the Dallas Cowboys dynasty of the 90’s is brought up, immediately fans and the media alike mention the triplets. My question is: Who were the guys that made their success possible? It was the guys in the trenches that sacrificed every ounce of strength they had to form a wall around Hall Of Fame quarterback Troy Aikman. It was the guys who sacrificed their bodies to create running lanes for Emmitt Smith, enabling him to become the NFL’s all time leading rusher. When I look at things from that perspective, the name that sticks out to me the most, is Larry Allen. That being said, I felt not only honored, but obligated to do a tribute article on him. I can only hope that you appreciate this mountain of a man as much as I do. I give my heart felt highest regards to Larry Allen. The true “Beast Of The East”!

Larry Allen was born on November 27th 1971. He attended a different school every year he was in high school. As a freshman, Centennial High School in Compton, California, as a sophomore, Tokay High School in Lodi, as a junior, he transferred to Edison High in Stockton. Larry Allen completed high school at Vintage High in Napa, California, but he didn’t graduate.

Larry Allen began his career at Butte College in Oroville, California. He played football at Butte for 2 years. With Allen anchoring the line they went went 10-1 and won the Golden Valley Conference title both years. Larry Allen was named to the All-Conference and All-State teams both years. Larry Allen was recognized as a J.C. All-American following his sophomore year. Allen did not attend school the following year. Following a one year beak from college, he enrolled at Sonoma State University which is a Division II school just north of San Francisco.

LarryAllenLarry Allen only allowed 1 sack over 2 seasons at Sonoma. The Cossacks ran a pass first offense, and Larry Allen played a major role in their setting 10 school records, including: most yards gained, most touchdown passes, best gain-per-completion and highest passing efficiency. During his senior season, Larry Allen also paved the way for Sonoma State to set a record with 334 rushing yards against Cal-State Hayward. Allen also participated in the East-West Shrine Game, the Senior Bowl and was a two-time All-American selection.

True stories were released about Larry Allens’ playing days at Sonoma State, to include several times he actually sent defenders flying into the air, rendering some practically unconscious, breaking bones and/or tearing ligaments as a result of the powerful hits. One time it was caught on tape and the video exposed a Portland State defender being blocked so hard he was thrown into the air by Larry Allen. It was shown over and over on ESPN in the days leading up to the NFL draft. Not only did Larry Allen dominate opposing defenders, he brutalized them. Divison II defensive linemen feared lining up across from the mammoth offensive lineman.

Larry Allen not only wowed Cowboys scouts with his ability on the football field, his athletic ability for a 325lb man was unheard of. When NFL scouts worked him out, he ran a 4.8 second 40 yard dash. He was unmatched in the weight room as well.

Prior to his success in the NFL, Allen said,

“I had a great head coach (Scalercio) my senior season, who also coached the offensive line. I learned a lot of great things from him.”

When asked about playing on a college team at the Division II level, instead of playing for a recognized Division I program, Allen said,

“It was a great opportunity for me to showcase my talents and Sonoma State had a great atmosphere for me to do that. SSU was a great school.”

LarryAllen3As shocking as it may seem, Larry Allen was the 10th offensive guard selected in the 1994 NFL draft. The Dallas Cowboys selected him in the second round (46th over all). I often wonder how many scouts lost their jobs behind letting him fall that far. To think, he is arguably the best offensive guard to ever play the game, I seriously wonder what the teams who passed on him are thinking now. Larry Allen was the 1st player ever drafted out of Sonoma State. It just goes to show that you can never let the small school label fool you.

Larry Allen went on to be selected to 11 pro bowls and was selected as an All-Pro 7 times. He pulverized defensive linemen from all over the league. He played with the most power at the point of attack I have ever seen. Even at 325 lbs he was athletic enough to play any position along the offensive line. He didn’t just block guys, he immobilized them. Once Larry Allen got his hands on someone, it was all over but the crying.

He humbled many elite pass rushers in the NFL in such a way, they would go back to the huddle in awe saying,

“What am I supposed to do”? The common reply was, “whatever you can, do what ever you can, just don’t make him mad, whatever you do, don’t make him mad”.

LarryAllen4I could write a book on all of Larry Allens’ accolades. Unfortunately, this is only an article. After a colorful and dominant career in the NFL, Larry Allen went on to achieve the two greatest honors that can ever be bestowed upon a professional athlete. He was not only inducted in to the Dallas Cowboys ring of honor, but is being inducted in to the NFL Hall Of Fame this year, where his bust will forever be on display for footfall enthusiasts and fans alike to look at and reflect on his amazing career.

I just want to express my sincere appreciation to Larry “The Beast Of The East” Allen. Who is, and always be my favorite offensive lineman of all time. He will always hold a special place in my heart and my memories. Football just isn’t the same without that giant #73 dominating the trenches in the NFL. All I can say is,

Much love and respect to you Larry Allen! You are Missed in Big D!

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  • GregArkins57

    The best G ever to play IMO.

  • Football Mensa

    Cas I was at that game in New Orleans with my sister and brother n law. My brother n law and I just looked at each other like wth ? Ya we were pissed about the int but man we couldn’t believe Allen caught him. For those who don’t remember , Dallas did win that game. Cas, Saints fans hate Dallas. I mean they flat out abhor the Cowboys. He and I were sporting our Cowboys garb and a Saints fan got a little cocky with my brother n law as we were walking down the exit ramp. Huge mistake. He decked him right there on the ramp . My brother n law stood over him and told him  to stay down with his team. Not one other Saints fan said anything to us. LOL.
    Many fans don’t remember Erik Williams though. Erik was to right tackle what Larry was to guard. Two of the most powerful, meanest o linemen to ever don the Star. Too bad Erik was injured in that car wreck. He was never the same after that.

    • Football Mensa  I did a why isn’t Erick Williams in the ring of honor Jerry Jones article a while back.

      • Football Mensa

        Cool Cas. Williams was a beast of a man. BTW I heard Warford being compared a little to Larry Allen today. Our second round really pissed me off.

        • Football Mensa Warford was my guy from the 1st time I saw him on tape

    • MichaelValentino

      Football Mensa Mensa – “Many fans don’t remember Erik Williams.” That is a sad but true comment. For about a four year period, Williams was the most dominating right tackle I’d ever seen.  He was big, strong and just nasty. Not a great technician but for a man his size, he could still move well, slide and pass block. His run blocking was the stuff of legends. If not for the 94 car wreck, Williams would’ve ended up in Canton. He was the only tackle I ever saw outplay Reggie White. That, in itself, says it all. I also think the Cowboys would’ve been much better prepared to win the NFC Championship in 94 if Williams was in the lineup. With him out and LA hurting – and Emmitt nursing a bad hamstring – the Cowboys just could not dominate the running game that day. If I were picking an all-time offensive line it would be, left to right: Anthony Munoz, John Hannah, Dwight Stephenson (narrowly over Mike Webster), LA and Erik Williams (over Jim Parker, Bob Brown, Jackie Slater, Ron Yary, etc.).

      • Football Mensa

        Michael I agree with all that you said about Williams.
        My all time o line…Munoz , Allen , Stephenson , Matthews , Williams be fore his accident.
        Btw the number 2 rated prospect I have for 2014 is a clone of Williams but plays left tackle. I will get to that later.

        • MichaelValentino

          I love your all-time O-line…alot like mine, but again, for me, imho, Hannah vs. Matthews is a split second decision for me. I watched them both play and Hannah was unequaled. Mike Munchak, also of the Oilers, was a more powerful guard than Matthews. As for the Big E, I’d put him at ORT over anyone I’d seen, including guys like Jonathan Ogden, Joe Jacoby, Orlando Pace (they played OLT but in considering my all-time NFL team, nobody and I mean nobody can come close to Anthony Munoz, so in consideration are all other great tackles for the right tackle position). I think, if pushed against a wall and having to decide, I would say the two greatest offensive linemen in NFL history were Munoz and Hannah, and I would put LA third.

        • MichaelValentino

          Mensa, I have no doubt you know about this “clone,” but let’s be real here. We both know JJ will not cut Free. In fact, Free will probably have an uptick in his game this year, for which JJ will renegotiate his contract and give him $12MM per year. The prospect of which you speak will be drafted by the Patriots, Broncos or Steelers, and will turn into a perennial All-Pro at LT. Free will continue to be a turnstyle and will collect holding penalties like my wife collects coupons. Such is the life of a DC fan in the JJ era. But there I go again, wallowing in self-pity.

        • Football Mensa

          Jus wondering Michael….who do you think my clone is ?

        • MichaelValentino

          I will guess Alabama’s left tackle… Kuondjio

        • Football Mensa

          HELL NO ! He’s a Gump. I don the Purple n Gold. The colors of Royalty. I am LSU !!
          Antonio Richardson , Tennessee. Pull up South Carolina vs Tennesse and watch what he did with Clowney. JuJawann James gets the pub. Watch by seasons end. Richardson will be the dominate LT imo in all of college ball. Stout LT class coming in 14.
          @Football_Mensa

        • MichaelValentino

          Football Mensa Antonio Richardson…I’ll have to look him up. If he could block Clowney the guy is NFL-ready now. I’d love to see Clowney in a Cowboys uniform.

  • Football Mensa

    I have been to New Orleans twice to see the Cowboys play the Saints. Both on Monday night football. The first time they lost. Landry was still the coach. I was still proud though watching my guys play. Too Tall Jones was being held every play. They only called it about 4 times on the ot. The Superdome is one raucous place to watch a football game, I have to admit.

  • boysteamusa

    Big UPs to Larry Allan, the greatest O-Lineman EVER to play the game!  It wouldn’t have happened without you!

  • waynoootn

    Thanks for the article on Larry. I grew up watching him in amazement. There will never be another Larry Allen. to me he was the best O.L. to ever play the game and it was a privlige to watch him play the game.

  • ChrisG7

    No doubt one of the best linemen in NFL, history, he had it all, toughness, heart, passion, and fire. Him chasing down the Saints linebacker to prevent the TD in his rookie year is just damn amazing. Great article!

    • ChrisG7 Thank You, That’s why I named him the beast of the east

  • MichaelValentino

    Cas, I think this is your best article yet. What a great tribute to the best offensive lineman to ever play for the Cowboys. You obviously did a ton of research beforehand – I learned things about LA I had never known. It’s articles like this that more Cowboys fans need to read. Wow. I love the video montage that features John Randle. I’ve watched some of the best defensive tackles of all time, and in the 90s, the best tackles were Randle, Warren Sapp and Cortez Kennedy. LA was an anomaly: quick enough to match up with guys like Sapp and strong enough to overpower guys like Randle. I would’ve loved to see LA line up across from the great tackles of the 1960s-1970s: Lilly, Page, Olsen, Greene, White and Klecko. I think LA would’ve given all of those guys major problems. The two best guards I’ve ever seen both played on the left side and both wore no. 73: LA and John Hannah. With all due respect to Gene Upshaw, Jim Parker, Russ Grimm, Mike Munchak and Randall McDaniel, LA and Hannah were the best ever. I hope LA reads this. You did the big man proud.

    • MichaelValentino Thank You Michael. I’m pretty sure LA read it, he was tagged on facebook for this article so he got a notice that it was published.

      • MichaelValentino

        Cool!  btw….I still want to arm wrestle him. Maybe get in the octagon with him. Then bring on Chuck Norris. 🙂

    • Football Mensa

      Michael, Bruce Matthews could make the argument for the best guard ever. 9 times all pro. 6 times second team all pro. Started 229 consecutive games. Played in 296 games. Voted to 14 pro bowls.
      Larry was dominant. He was a great player. Had he played against Lilly , Page and Green he would have completely abused them. Those guys were much smaller than the defensive tackles you see in today’s NFL. Lilly only weighed 250 lbs. Allen at 325 would have buried him every play.

      • Football Mensa Matthews didn’t have the power at the point of attack that LA did and he  played against smaller competition back in the early 80’s as well. He wasn’t as athletic either. How many 325lb OG’s have you ever seen run a 4.8? let alone have the lateral agility LA did?

        • Football Mensa

          Bruce played most of his career in the 290’s. It wasn’t until later that he added weight to get to 300. If you think he wasn’t dominant go watch the Sunday night game of the Oilers vs the Bucs in 1998  and watch what he did to Sapp.

        • Football Mensa

          Bruce played longer at a higher level. Glad we had Allen but I wouldn’t kick Matthews off my team.

        • Football Mensa I didn’t say he wasn’t dominant, I said he wasn’t as good as LA nor anywhere near as strong!

        • Football Mensa Matthews came in to the league in 1983, he did have a longer career, but to be honest, he looks pretty darn small next to LA lol

        • MichaelValentino

          CowgirlCas22 Football Mensa I think bison look pretty darn small next to LA. 🙂

      • MichaelValentino

        Mensa (I’m thinking the name is a good fit for you….your “football IQ” has to be over 140, and I’d imagine your true IQ also is pretty up there): Matthews made the Pro Bowl at LT, LG, C and RG. He was pretty amazing. Still and all, give me Hannah any day. I’m not sure I’d take LA over Hannah (it’s close, sort of like, if I came into money, would I choose a blue Maserati or a black one?). I’ll use my dog analogy. Hannah was a 70 lb pit bull, rippled with muscle, agile and tenacious; Allen was a 140 lb Rottweiller, incredibly powerful and yet could run pretty fast. Matthews was not the equal in strength to Hannah, who, pound-for-pound, was one of the strongest players in NFL history.

        • Football Mensa

          Darn Michael….I would have figured you’re a Buggati Veyron guy !!

        • MichaelValentino

          Football Mensa lol, I love the Veyron. W-16 engine (TWO V-8s), 1000+ HP, 251 mph top speed. I think it goes for around $1.2 MM. Blue and silver would be nice. But I love the Maserati Gran Turismo S… and I get get around 9 of those for one Veyron. 🙂

      • MichaelValentino

        Lilly had great natural strength. It is said in college he would lift the front end of a VW Bug, put it on the sidewalk, then lift the rear end and put it on the sidewalk, and then park his car in the spot he just created. Lilly was not the weight room warrior that the Manster was. Randy White once kicked out 10 reps at 450 lbs. But you’re right, Lilly was around 260 and White’s highest weight was around 272. Mean Joe Greene was 275. Those guys would have a HARD time with LA.  Greene never faced Hannah. Randy White faced him 9 times (3 regular season games and 6 Pro Bowls). Those were wars. I don’t think guys like Merlin Olsen, Joe Klecko, Dave Butz or Reggie White could match LA in power at the point of attack. I think some team would have to sign a silverback ape to play defensive tackle in order to match LA in sheer power. 🙂

        • Football Mensa

          Michael I was listening to Lilly on sirius radio about a month ago and he said he played around 248. He mentioned that’s why Jim Brown was so good because he was almost as big as the d linemen.
          Joe Greene was big for his time. That defense was straight up nasty.
          You will never get an argument from me on Allen’s natural power. No doubt the strongest lineman I have ever seen be it either o line or d line. He was a freak of nature.
          White is my second all time fav Cowboy. You definitely have to place these guys in their era. As great as the old school guys were they would get consumed in today’s nfl regarding linemen. Now the skill players I believe could transition any era.

        • MichaelValentino

          Football Mensa I didn’t know Lilly played that light. He had great natural strength and quickness, but today he’d have to bulk up to 290 to play inside over a guard. Randy White could’ve added 20 lbs without much of a problem. He benched 500 lb, so I think he could have transitioned to today’s NFL with added weight. But you are right, the old time greats would be giving up too much weight. Gino Marchetti was an incredible player. He was 6’4″ 250, which was big in the 50s. Today, he’d be the size of an OLB in a 3-4. btw, my all-time Cowboys are: 1. Staubach, 2. Randy White, 3. Dorsett. Lilly, Aikman and Emmitt are right up there too.

        • Football Mensa

          Dorsett , White and Staubach are 1.2.3. for me in that order.
          As much of a disaster of a person as he was..Irvin is one of my top 5-6 huys. He was the soul of the 90’s teams.

        • MichaelValentino my point exactly, I am yet to see a stronger OL> past or present, the 700 lb bench press says it all, thats bob lily manster and RB combined lol. He literally bench pressed his opponents while standing up with his punch.

        • MichaelValentino

          CowgirlCas22 MichaelValentino …and he squatted 900 lbs. He could put three Warren Sapps on his back and squat them. lol

    • MichaelValentino

      In the roll of great guards I should have included Bruce Matthews, Larry Little, Joe DeLammieleure at the very least.

  • cowboys_24_7_365

    Great job Cas… reading this article made me picture vividly the days when Big Larry was pushing defenders around the field like they were little boys! There will never be another LA but if there is ever another offensive lineman with ability close to his, I just pray that he’s playing for the Cowboys! Great job on the tribute! Keep up the good work…

  • boysdeporvida

    If there was ever a time that JJ should have gone all out on the OL , this was the year. When LA was selected to the HOF, and after Tony Romo got the big contract. What more of a sign do you want? The Cowboys started the rebuilding of the OL when Dallas made Smith the no.one pick, but failed to add a single OL in last years draft. I thought like the majority of the fans, that JJ could have made up for that mistake by selecting two OL in this years draft,  How could you have missed all thoughts signs, What happen?

  • johnx55

    She cooked me two whole chickens, some French fries, baked me a cake, and gave me forty ounce … I knew that was my wife LOL … Best HOF speech ever!!!  … Loved that he gave tribute to Hudson H. and a bid for him to be in the Hall .. This new OL crew needs to keep watching film … they need to listen to his story about getting beat by Reggie White, and him growing up getting into a fight with guy who was bigger than him .. never back down, and always come back stronger and nastier!!!  That’s what made him .. him … a Hall of Famer .. Thanks Larry

  • johnx55 I have to agree It was real. Not some overly spoken or rehearsed jibber jiabber

  • johnx55

    Cas .. great way to put it .. He was himself .. he was real .. he was funny, thankful to those who helped him, loyal to the core, and I loved hearing about what made him tick .. what drove him to be the best .. his desire to earn the respect and trust from his teammates and colleagues .. for a man who doesn’t say a lot, he sure did convey a lot .. well balanced speech and just plain real

  • travist

    CowgirlCas22 johnx55  REAL!!!! UNLIKE YOU who are a total FAKE and probably not even a female the pictures you use saying they are you are NOt you in any way they are of a Florida Model that is in Canada at this time name Paris Nichole So who are you? you are not the person in the picture… Fake

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