(Editor’s Note: With training camp just around the corner, let’s get to know 30 Cowboys players – from rookies to established veterans – who are new to the current 90-man roster. Today we continue the series with rookie guard Larry Allen Jr.)
How He Got Here: The son of arguably the greatest offensive lineman in Cowboys history – Ring of Honor member and Pro Football Hall of Famer Larry Allen – Allen Jr. had a productive college career at Harvard, starting 30 straight games since 2015 as a multiple first-team All-Ivy League selection. The Cowboys signed Allen Jr. as an undrafted free agent in May. He wore the same number as his dad in college (73) but wore No. 62 in offseason workouts, looking to forge his own path to the league. But the Cowboys have always been special to the younger Allen. He grew up around the team, watching his dad win two Super Bowl titles in the 1990s. “"It’s the greatest team in the NFL,” Allen Jr. said. “It’s my dad’s favorite team. It’s my favorite team. It’s been my dream ever since I could remember.”
Bet You Didn’t Know: Allen Jr. majored in bioengineering at Harvard and has a former college teammate on the Cowboys’ roster. Adam Redmond, also an interior offensive lineman, was an All-Ivy League selection for the Crimson, too.
Quotable: “Just be ready. Just be ready in terms of the playbook, just be ready in terms of where I want my technique to be, physically strength-wise, speed-wise, conditioning-wise. Just to be ready to give it all I have and improve as much as I can during that very valuable period of time.” – Allen Jr. on his goals as training camp nears
Role/Roster Chances: Allen Jr. worked at backup guard in OTAs and minicamp as one of five rookie offensive linemen vying for snaps. Like most positions on the roster, offensive line is thick with competition. The line is actually deeper than last year now that Travis Frederick is returning from last year’s battle with Guillain-Barre syndrome. Joe Looney, last year’s fill-in starter at center, can be a valuable reserve at both center and guard. It looks like an uphill climb for Allen Jr. in terms of numbers on the roster, but the rookie will have a chance this summer to continue his development.
Bryan Broaddus’ Take: Larry Allen Jr. is the son of one of the greatest players in the history of the NFL. Allen Jr. doesn’t have the physical makeup of his father or his athletic ability. Where he can help this team is if he can develop as a two-spot player. Allen Jr. currently lines up at guard, but if he can learn how to play center it could help his chances. It’s not an easy transition for players to make, but guys like Looney and Redmond have made it and both are important backup players. Allen Jr. did get some work at center but it was during the rookie minicamp and it was in pre-practice. I will be interested to see if the coaching staff gives him some snaps at practice at center. If they do, it’s a sign that they’re interested in working with him for the future. Allen Jr. is working on improving his conditioning and strength, which can only help him. Making the practice squad would be a big accomplishment for him.