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Cowboys Midsummer Madness, Regional Final: Bob Lilly vs. Larry Allen

Midsummer Madness has reached the regional finals! Today’s Elite Eight match-up features top seed Bob Lilly facing off against three seed Larry Allen. Who will advance to the Final Four as the champion of the Pete Rozelle Regional?

In today's third regional final, we have a match-up between two dominant linemen from two different eras and two different sides of the line of scrimmage. Top-seeded Bob Lilly, the best defensive tackle in team history, goes up against third-seeded Larry Allen, the best offensive guard (and likely the best O-lineman) ever to wear the star. If only we had a time machine and could beam Allen to Thousand Oaks or Lilly to Oxnard, we could savor what would be surely epic daily training camp matchups between these two men. Because that technology has yet to be invented, we'll have to make do with Midsummer Madness. So, read the bios and comments, and watch the videos. Then head over to the poll and cast yer ballots, BTBers!

Wanna keep tabs on the state of the bracket or look ahead to future contests? All the Midsummer Madness info you could ever want can be found right here.


Player: Bob Lilly

Position: defensive end, tackle

Seed: 1

How he got here: defeated Mark Tuinei, 683-20; defeated Danny White 710-67; defeated Lee Roy Jordan, 630-24


Name Years Career AV Pro Bowls All-Pro RoH HoF
Robert Lewis Lilly

Bio: The Cowboys selected Lilly in the first round of the 1961 draft; he was the franchise's first ever draft pick. Lilly began his career as a defensive end in 1961, but moved to defensive tackle midway though the 1963 season, whereupon he immediately began to flourish. As a tackle, Lilly was earned first-team All-NFL laurels six of the next seven seasons. In total, Lilly was named All-Pro seven times (and twice netted Second Team All-Pro honors), and was selected to play in 11 Pro Bowls. Lilly was an ironman, playing in 196 consecutive regular-season games and missing only one game in his entire career, the 1973 NFC Championship Game.

Lilly used a stunning combination of strength, agility, speed and toughness to make plays. From his distinctive four-point stance, he would explode at the snap, knifing between gaps or, alternatively, rag-dolling opposing linemen. These traits allowed him to score four defensive touchdowns and were in evidence in the signature play of his career, Lilly's NFL record 29-yard sack of Dolphin quarterback Bob Griese in Super Bowl VI. Because he was unstoppable one-on-one, Lilly was regularly double and triple teamed for the majority of his career.

Lilly boasts a long list of all-timer honors. He was selected to the NFL All-Decade teams for both the 1960s and 1970s as well as the NFL's 75th Anniversary All-Time team. The Sporting News named him a member of the All-Century NFL Team, deeming him "the greatest defensive tackle in NFL history," and later ranked him tenth (where he was the the highest-ranking defensive lineman) on their "100 Greatest Football Players" list. Although the Cowboys don't officially retire jerseys, he is the only player in team history to ever have worn #74 in a regular season game. In 1975, his name was the first to be inscribed in the Ring of Honor. He was elected to the Hall of Fame in 1980, his first year of eligibility.


Member comments:

Member Comment
krl97a If you watch those old games Lilly collapses the offensive line on every play, despite often being double or triple teamed....Lilly is a top 5 all time Cowboy player and is arguably #1.
Old Frog

It's been said that while a player at TCU...

He used to pick up Volkswagen Beetles and put them on the sidewalk – one end at a time but still – what a way to build a reputation.

Realist Larry

Lilly played a long time, suffered through a lot of heartaches from close calls but never quit, lasted all the way until 1974,

first player into the Ring of Honor,

played in 196 consecutive games, missing just one game in his career, a playoff game in 1973!

7x first team all-pro?
TWO All-Decade teams, wut?!


Player: Larry Allen

Position: offensive guard, tackle

Seed: 3

How he got here: defeated Billy Joe DuPree, 652-34; defeated Don Meredith 528-152; defeated Tony Dorsett, 502-414


Name Years Career AV Pro Bowls All-Pro RoH HoF
Larry Christopher Allen

Bio: Allen was drafted in the second round of the 1994 Draft and quickly stepped into the starting lineup, starting ten games in place of injured tackles Mark Tuinei and Erik Williams, and earning All-Rookie honors. He arrived on the national scene in a December game against the Saints on Monday Night when, at 325 pounds, he ran down linebacker Darion Conner from behind on an interception return. In 1995, Allen became the starter at right guard, where he remained for the better part of the next three seasons.

In late 1997, however, he had to move to left tackle to replace the injured Tuinei once again, and played the season's final three games there. The following season, he moved to left tackle full time, and again took home All-Pro and All-NFC honors, becoming the third player in league history to be selected to the Pro Bowl at more than one offensive line position. In 1999, the emergence of Flozell Adams allowed Allen to return to guard, this time on the right side. Despite starting in his third O-line position in as many years, Allen was again selected to the All-Pro team. Further Pro Bowl nominations in 2000 and '01 gave him seven consecutive Pro Bowl nods.

A ten-time Pro Bowl selection in his twelve seasons as a Cowboy, Allen played in more Pro Bowls than any offensive player in franchise history. Allen is regarded as one of the physically strongest men to have ever played in the NFL, having recorded an assisted bench press of 705 lb and a squat of 905 lb. He earned a Super Bowl ring in 1995 (Super Bowl XXX) and was selected to the NFL's All-Decade team for both the 1990s and 2000s. Allen was inducted into the Ring of Honor in 2011 and voted to the Hall of Fame in 2013.

*Allen's AV with the Cowboys was 120; his career AV (with two teams) was 131.

**Allen was selected to ten Pro Bowls as a Cowboy, and eleven total in his career.


Member comments:

Member Comment
SDTrueblue Larry Allen is one of the reasons I learned to love the trench-game of football and not just focus on the flashy skill-players. He was truly the most dominant player I’ve ever seen play on the line and in my opinion the greatest O-Lineman of all time.

I voted Larry Allen because I believe he's the best player of all time at his position

I think this play illustrates what type of athlete this guy was more than any other.


The guy that runs down that linebacker

can bench press Bob Lilly, Randy White, and Tony Dorsett…at the same time.

Alright, BTBers, which man advances to the Final Four?

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