For football fans everywhere, this is the best time of the year. It’s a time to move forward with another promising NFL season, and also a time to look back at the legends that played the game years ago. Saturday, August 3rd marked the day that football fans got to watch the greatest players and coaches of their respective generations, as they joined the most elite football club in the world.
This is the first of seven articles, each featuring one of the newest members of the Pro Football Hall of Fame. The class of 2013 consists of players Larry Allen, Jonathan Ogden, Warren Sapp, Curley Culp, Dave Robinson, Chris Carter and coach Bill Parcells.
Former Dallas Cowboy Larry Allen is widely regarded as one of the greatest offensive lineman ever to play the game. When the Hall of Fame Class of 2013 was announced in February, it wasn’t a surprise that Larry Allen’s name was on the list. Of the 280 players in the Hall of Fame, Allen was only the 70th member to get elected during his first year of eligibility.
Allen’s career began in 1994 when the Dallas Cowboys drafted him in the second round, 48th overall, out of Sonoma State University. In his rookie season Allen was used in a back up role, playing left and right tackle until an injury vaulted him into a starting role. Recognizing the opportunity that lay ahead of him, Allen made the most of his rookie season, anchoring an offense line that helped protect star quarterback Troy Aikman. However, the most impressive accomplishments of his rookie season came in an unlikely scenario against the New Orleans Saints in a late December matchup.
Watch for yourself:
As you can see, the nifty Allen wowed fans with his athletic ability on the field. It is rare to see an offensive linemen sprint down the field and make a tackle with that kind of speed. The speed and strength Allen exuded on the field started in the weight room where he maxed out his bench press at 705-lbs and squat max at 905-lbs to become one of the strongest men to play in the NFL. His toughness continues to show, as he believes today’s game should be played more physical.
“I like it the way it was when I was playing. You got to be a lot more physical. They have it a lot easier [today] but I guess it is for the best.”
Allen’s 14 seasons in the NFL consisted of 11 Pro Bowls and a Super Bowl XXX victory in 1996. Allen used his athleticism to play every position on the offensive line except for center during his tenure in the NFL.
Amongst some of the greats such as Emmitt Smith, Roger Staubach, and Deion Sanders, Larry Allen becomes the 14th member of the Dallas Cowboys to get inducted into the elite club of players. The Cowboys could not have asked for a more loyal and humble individual to represent their organization at the highest level of honor in the NFL and must be glad to have the legend as a member of their team forever in history. Allen mentions that he still “watches the Cowboys every week” and he was excited to see the first glimpse of the 2013 team during the Hall of Fame game.
Larry Allen is one of the best offensive linemen to ever play the game but humbles himself by explaining that, “football players and basketball players are just regular people, they are just in the spotlight more.” Allen celebrates with his family in Canton and gives the credit of getting into the Hall of Fame to them as he put all of his effort on the field to make them proud.
“They [his family] are happy, they are proud of me. The reason I am here is because I played so hard to give them a better life.”
Photos by Ed Runyon and Michael Johnson
For more of our stories on the Hall of Fame Class of 2013 see below:
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