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.
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.
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.
Larry 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.”
As 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”.
I 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!