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Cowboys Midsummer Madness, Second Round: Larry Allen vs. Don Meredith

Round two of our Midsummer Madness tournament is underway! Today’s match-up features three seed Larry Allen facing off against eleven seed Don Meredith. Who will advance to the Sweet Sixteen?

Thus far, our second round matches have been between predictable opponents - i.e., the favorites in their first-round contests. Today's match-up breaks that string: third-seeded Larry Allen, arguably the best (Rayfield Wright might have something to say about that) but certainly the most physically dominant offensive lineman in team history, goes up against eleventh-seeded Don Meredith, the first - and, arguably, the most under-rated - of a long line of great Cowboys quarterbacks. Can Dandy Don pull off a second consecutive upset? You know the drill: read the bios and comments and hit the poll, 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: Larry Allen

Position: offensive guard, tackle

Seed: 3

How he got here: defeated Billy Joe DuPree, 652-34


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 tot he 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

Larry Allen

pushing a guy 10 yards backwards, pancaking him, then moving on to block a helpless defensive back might be the best, most physically dominating play I’ve ever seen in the NFL. Dude was unique.


Larry Allen is the best offensive linemen I’ve ever seen play the game.

Watching him play was one of the reasons I began to learn about the less flashy aspects of football and one of the reasons I love the game. He was so strong and so extremely athletic for a 300+ pound man it was unbelievable.


Just this:


Player: Don Meredith

Position: quarterback

Seed: 11

How he got here: defeated Gil Brandt, 377-333


Name Years Career AV Pro Bowls All-Pro RoH HoF
Joe Donald Meredith

Bio: Meredith is considered by some to be the original Dallas Cowboy; he came to the team before the franchise had adopted a nickname, hired a head coach or conducted any kind of draft. A month before the 1960 draft (in which the fledgling Cowboys did not participate), Meredith signed a personal services contract with Tecon Corporation, owned by Clint Murchison, thus ensuring that he would play for Dallas when and if the prospective team officially became an NFL franchise. They did, and he became the team's first quarterback of note.

Meredith spent his first two years as a backup to Eddie LeBaron, started eight games in 1962, and finally earned the starting job in 1963. As the expansion Cowboys became respectable, Meredith's game improved; in 1965 and '66, he lead the league in yards per completion and, in the second of those seasons, Meredith earned NFL Player of the Year honors while leading the Cowboys to their first postseason berth, something he would continue to do for the duration of his career. Sadly, the 1966 and '67 postseasons were marked by heartbreaking defeats to the Packers in NFL Championship games, the second of which was the famous "Ice Bowl."

Although he never led the Cowboys to a Super Bowl, Meredith had an cannon arm (the longest completed pass - with no yards after catch - was an 83 yard bomb from Meredith to Bob Hayes), and was exceptionally tough; he took a beating while the Cowboys were still in expansion mode, and was booed relentlessly by Cowboys fans who didn't understand the degree to which he was carrying a mediocre team. For his career, Meredith threw for 17,199 yards and 135 touchdowns. He was named to the Pro Bowl 3 times.

Member comments:

Member Comment
delta quad man

Dandy Don was the first bigger than life Dallas Cowboy

Gotta go with him. He put the Cowboys on center stage. The contrast with Coach Landry, followed by Rodger the Dodger, put the franchise in the limelight....Dandy Don was the catalyst of America’s Team, he lit the fire of the Cowboys popularity.

Reno Cowboy

If you are too young to have actually seen Meredith when he played

And I am not talking about MNF, won-loss record means nothing. He was great to watch. Broken bones, or blood streaming down his face from broken nose(s)—face guards for QBs in those days was a single bar. We talk about Romo carrying a bad Cowboys team on his shoulders; double that, and you have Meredith. Many times I have said: if you can’t watch Meredith, just watch Romo; they are not exactly the same, but they are close. The media has backed off a little on Romo, but they never did with Meredith until he prematurely retired.

Tyler Ag 95

Dandy Don

Would be considered the best quarterback in franchise history for several teams. He’s an 11 seed for the Cowboys. We are spoiled.

Alright, BTBers, which man advances to the sweet sixteen?

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