This weekend our beloved Larry Allen will add a gold jacket to his collection to go along with the blue one of a Ring of Honor inductee. Congratulations Larry, for becoming a member of the Hall of Fame.
Larry Allen had a somewhat unusual route to follow; over his four year prep career, Larry played for four different high schools. In fact Dallas is the only team that he ever played on for more than two seasons. As a college player, he started his journey at Butte College in Oroville, California; there earning junior college All America honors for his sophomore season. The following fall, Larry was out of the game. That all changed when he enrolled at Division II Sonoma State University. In the Cassocks pass happy offense, Allen gave up just one sack during his two years with the team. Both seasons ended with All America recognition for the young offensive lineman. He earned invitations to both the East-West Shrine game and the Senior Bowl after his collegiate career concluded. In the second round of the 1994 NFL Draft, Larry Allen became the first Cassock player to be drafted by a professional football team. Using the 46th overall pick, he became the second round selection of the Dallas Cowboys.
During his rookie season, Larry was rotated between tackle and guard, making a combined total of 10 starts. That was an offensive line that set a team record for fewest sacks allowed by surrendering only 20. He delivered "game ball" performances in both his first professional start and in his first play-off game. Quite an achievement; it was just a sign of what was in the future for Allen. Beginning in 1995, starting as the teams right guard, Larry began a stretch of seven consecutive trips to the Pro Bowl. He also earned his only Super Bowl ring that season. By the end of the 1997 season, Allen had been moved to left tackle, where he protected Troy Aikman's blind side. A consensus All Pro, Larry became only the third offensive lineman to earn Pro Bowl honors at more than one position. By 1999, Allen would add Pro Bowl left guard to his resume. His performance during the first half of his career would earn Larry Allen a place on the NFL's All Decade Team for the 1990's.
For the new decade, Larry Allen started exactly where he had left off during the 90's. 2000 and 2001 marked Allen's sixth and seventh All Pro seasons. The following season would be a challenging one for him, as injuries took their toll. Between rotator cuff surgery and ankle issues, Larry would miss most of the season. For 2003; however, Larry Allen returned with a vengeance. He was named to his eighth Pro Bowl. His health restored, Larry would play two more seasons for the Cowboys and after each of those he made return trips to Hawaii. In total, Allen earned Pro Bowl Honors 10 times while a member of the Cowboys; and seven times he was also named All Pro. Following the 2005 season, Larry was released by the team; three days later he became a San Francisco 49er. While playing in his native California, Larry would add a 11th Pro Bowl in 2006, and was an alternate in 2007. He was also named as a member of the All Decade team for the 2000's.
Larry Allen doing a little light weightlifting for the camera.
For his career, Larry Allen racked up 11 Pro Bowls, was seven times an All Pro, and He was named to the All Decade teams for two different decades. Last November, he joined the Cowboys Ring of Honor along with Drew Pearson and Charles Haley. This weekend, in his first year of eligibility, Larry Allen will join football's immortals when he is inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame. The hallowed halls of Canton are a long way from the tiny campus at Sonoma State; and we here at Blogging The Boys are honored that Larry shared his journey with us.