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Remembering Larry Allen

Tyler Smith on Larry Allen's 'tough' style


FRISCO, Texas — The Dallas Cowboys learned the saddening news of the passing of Larry Allen on Monday, as the 11-time Pro Bowl offensive lineman and Pro Football Hall of Fame member died on Sunday while vacationing in Mexico with his family.

The sudden news comes on the heels of third-year offensive lineman Tyler Smith speaking about the great Larry Allen just last week, as Smith dons Allen's No. 73 and has been routinely compared to the Ring of Honor member because of his versatility between left tackle and left guard since his arrival in 2022.

Smith, who had a close relationship with Allen, always let his high respect for his predecessor be known.

"It's huge, for sure," Smith said last week. "Obviously, just knowing Larry and everything he did and how great he was. It's just my mission to be the best me I can be, to be the best Tyler Smith I can be every single day. Just improve, stay hungry and never lose that passion. Just continue to get better."

Allen's toughness, both on and off the field since his childhood, was always acknowledged by Smith – who has done extensive homework on the legacy that Allen left in Dallas.

"He almost died of meningitis when he was a kid," he said. "He's very tough, just a dawg. I've seen the tape, extremely athletic and famous for the chasedown tackle against the Saints. One of the best pulling guards to maybe ever play in the NFL. Not many people are doing people like that anymore."

If social media were a thing during Allen's playing days, his gaudy achievements in the weight room would've created constant viral moments. Having once bench pressed 700 pounds, Allen has been unofficially pinned as the strongest player to ever play in the NFL. For Smith, maybe that is where he draws the line in trying to reach Allen's status.

"I tend to stay away," Smith said with a laugh. "I'll just let him have that for him."