Cowboys coach Jason Garrett shared six seasons with Larry Allen in Dallas, and it sounds like he walked away thinking the six-time All-Pro guard was the best player he played with during his time.
“Clearly the best offensive lineman, in my opinion, from his generation,” Garrett said. “He was just different from everybody else.”
On the eve of Allen’s induction into the Pro Football Hall of Fame, Garrett talked Friday for a two-minute stretch of his daily press conference about the now-legendary Cowboys guard.
Here is part of what he said:
“He just was different from everybody else. He was so big, strong, physical, explosive, quick, powerful – any words you want to use that’s good, he was it in spades. … A couple things about Larry that I think really distinguish him from everybody else was his nastiness. It’s a physical game. It’s a nasty game. And I think he set the tone for our football team in a lot of different ways. Certainly up front, our ability to run the football. I think that pervaded our whole team.
“And he loved to play football, and he loved to play it in a nasty fashion. I have vivid memories of watching tape to see this guy pulling and literally knocking 250-pound linebackers who tried to fill a hole, he knocks them where they’re horizontally flying across the screen. And it wasn’t uncommon. I’m not telling a fish story. He was something else.
“He just was a rare guy. Didn’t say a whole lot, as you guys know. But maybe the most prideful guy of those groups. And Hudson Houck used to say this all the time: for all of his ability, maybe his best trait is his pride. Hudson always used to compare him to Jackie Slater in that regard, because he never would leave the meeting room if he didn’t know it through and through. … I think the combination of his physical traits and the approach that he took and his nastiness, just unique, rare, special, and I’ve been in conversations with those other Hall of Famers on those teams, and they kind of looked at each other like hey, ‘He’s kind of a cut above all of us.’ He’s just a rare guy. We were lucky to be around him. I was certainly lucky to have him as a teammate.”
-- Carlos Mendez