After a few years, he was easily mentioned as one of the best players in Cowboys history. And now, Allen has a place as one of the NFL’s very best offensive linemen as well.
Larry Allen will be inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame after an announcement Saturday night from New Orleans on the eve of Super Bowl XLVII.
And he’s not the only former member of the Cowboys to get the call. Coach Bill Parcells was also one of seven new members to the 2013 Hall of Fame class.
Parcells coached the Cowboys from 2003-06, earning two playoff berths and reviving a team coming off three straight 5-11 seasons before he took over. However, Parcells is headed to the Hall of Fame mainly for his two Super Bowl wins with the Giants, but also the way he turned around the Patriots, Jets and even the Cowboys. Parcells is still the only coach in NFL history to take four different teams to the playoffs.
Allen is one of three first-ballot selections to this year’s class, along with Jonathan Ogden and Warren Sapp. The 2013 Hall of Fame class also includes Cris Carter, Curley Culp and Dave Robinson.
The Cowboys nearly had a third member in this year’s class but Charles Haley was left off of the final vote despite making the cut from 15 to 10 finalists. Haley, who is the only player in NFL history with five Super Bowl rings, has been denied as a finalist for three straight years.
Moments after the announcement Saturday, Allen said Cowboys owner/GM Jerry Jones would present at the Aug. 3 ceremony in Canton. Jones sent out a statement regarding Allen’s future induction, along with his place in history.
“Larry is one of the greatest players in Cowboys history, and arguably the very best guard to ever play the game,” Jones said. “He was obviously a special talent, but the fierceness and tenacity that he brought to the field separated him from the rest of the pack. I have never been more proud of anyone who has reached the Pro Football Hall Fame. Larry Allen represents the best of the very best.”
With these latest additions, the Cowboys now have 12 players in the Hall of Fame who played at least five seasons, including Troy Aikman, Emmitt Smith, Michael Irvin, Bob Hayes, Bob Lilly, Roger Staubach, Tony Dorsett, Randy White, Deion Sanders, Rayfield Wright and Mel Renfro. Parcells joins Tom Landry and Tex Schramm as other non-players who are in Canton
There’s some irony that Allen and Parcells will enter the Hall of Fame in the same class considering Parcells got the offensive lineman after the 2005 season, mainly for salary cap reasons. But they butted heads a few times during Parcells’ first two seasons as head coach.
Allen went on to San Francisco, where he played two years and picked up his 11th Pro Bowl selection before announcing his retirement. Allen did sign with the Cowboys to finish his career where it began.
A second-round pick in 1994 of the Cowboys, Allen joined a team that had won two straight Super Bowls. While he wasn’t a starter early on, he became one after Erik Williams’ car accident in the middle of the 1994 season. Allen obviously didn’t make the Pro Bowl that season, but made it every other year with the Cowboys, aside from the 2002 season in which he suffered an ankle injury.
Allen’s 10 Pro Bowls are the most by any offensive player in Cowboys history and rank second overall only to Bob Lilly, who went 11 times.
A member of the NFL’s All-Decade Team of both the 1990’s and 2000s, Allen earned seven straight All-Pro honors from 1995-2001 despite having to switch from guard to tackle some years because of injury.
The 2013 Hall of Fame class will be formally enshrined Saturday Aug. 3 at Fawcett Stadium in Canton, Ohio and will be televised live by both ESPN and NFL Network.
Last August saw an end to a three-year streak of Cowboys players making it to the Hall of Fame after Bob Hayes (2009), Emmitt Smith (2010) and Deion Sanders (2011) were all inducted.But it will continue again this August with one of the greatest players the Cowboys have ever had. And he’ll be joined by the last head coach he had in Dallas.