|Larry Allen goes into Pro Football Hall of Fame
Larry Allen was known as the strongest man in the long, storied history of the National Football League.
The former Sonoma State University star Larry Allen, who played football for two seasons as a Cossack in 1992-93 and went on to have an indelible professional career, will be one of seven former NFL greats to be enshrined into the Pro Football Hall of Fame, as part of the Class of 2013 on Saturday.
A two-time All-American at SSU, a member of the university’s Athletics Hall of Fame and the NCAA Division II Football Hall of Fame, Allen was the first student-athlete in the 20 year history of football at SSU to be drafted into the NFL.
He was selected in the second round (46th overall) by Dallas in 1994 and, despite being the 10th offensive lineman to be picked, Allen proved to be the most dominant, not just that year, but of all-time.
It was late in his rookie season when Allen made his first unforgettable impression, saving a touchdown by running down Darion Conner when it looked like the New Orleans linebacker, who intercepted a pass, only had Dallas quarterback Troy Aikman to beat down the sideline on Monday Night Football.
While at SSU, Allen twice earned Kodak All-America and first-team Associated Press All-America honors and was a unanimous selection on several other All-America squads.
He was so dominant that Allen was named the Northern California Athletic Conference (NCAC) Offensive Player of the Year as a lineman, unheard of for a player that didn't play quarterback, running back or wide receiver.
As a senior in 1993, Allen gave up only one sack and was part of an offense that established 10 new school records under then-head coach Frank Scalercio.
In the NFL, Allen was named to 11 Pro Bowls in 14 seasons, 10 of which came with the Dallas Cowboys – more than any offensive player in Dallas' franchise history.
In addition, Allen was a seven-time All-Pro selection, a member of the 1990's and 2000's All-Decade Teams and he won a Super Bowl ring with the Cowboys in Super Bowl XXX on Jan. 28, 1996.
He was instrumental in helping former Dallas running back and Hall of Famer Emmitt Smith sprint towards the all-time NFL rushing record. Allen finished his playing career with the San Francisco 49ers in 2006 and 2007, but signed a one-day contract with Dallas prior to the 2008 season, enabling him to retire with the franchise that drafted him 14 years earlier.
He is arguably the strongest person to ever play in the NFL, having recorded a bench press of 705 pounds and a squat lift of 905 pounds. In 2010, Allen was No. 95 on the NFL Films Top 100 Greatest Players list.