Originally posted on Football Nation  |  Last updated 7/18/13

SAN FRANCISCO - AUGUST 13: Offensive lineman Larry Allen #71 of the San Francisco 49ers against the Denver Broncos on August 13, 2007 at Monster Park in San Francisco, California. (Photo by Greg Trott/Getty Images)
The Dallas Cowboys, especially in the early '90s, were loud, young and brash. They were confident and they were good. They knew it. We all knew it.A big piece of the Dallas Cowboys' success in the '90s was an offensive lineman selected in the second round of the 1993 draft from tiny Sonoma State. Larry Allen.Silence is golden. Silence along with top shelf performance year after year in this era of NFL football is rare. As a die-hard NFL football fan in the me first, chest pounding, look what I did world we live in, it was truly refreshing to watch a strong, resilient offensive lineman who helped paved the way for the NFL’s all-time leading rusher, Emmitt Smith.Week after week for 14 years Larry Allen mauled defensive linemen. Broke their will. Wore them down. Humiliated them. In all that time I’ve never heard Larry Allen speak. I’ve never heard him do an interview. He didn’t do them. It wasn’t because he was mad at the press. It was just the way he was.I was fortunate to meet him once in 1998 in Washington. He was kind enough to take a photo with my wife. When asked if we can take a picture he simply shook his head, posed and waived after the photo was taken as I thanked him.Larry Allen was one of the greatest offensive linemen to play the game. He was a nasty blocker and downright intimidating finishing off defenders with tenacity. He put fear in the hearts of defensive linemen.Former San Francisco 49ers coach, Steve Mariucci, recently talked about Larry Allen in an interview on Sirius Satellite Radio: “He was dominant. We had a player in San Francisco. A good defensive lineman. I will never mention him by name, but the week we were playing the Dallas Cowboys, that Saturday, he came down with the 24 hour flu and couldn’t play the next day.”There were several other stories of how players would lie about injury and fake sickness to avoid looking across at a man who once benched 700 lbs.Larry Allen is a man of few words. He led by example and let his actions speak for themselves on and off the field. He is everything a true professional athlete should be. In two weeks he will be inducted into the NFL Hall of Fame. It is a fitting end to a wonderful career for a man whose actions said more than words ever could.
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