Over the offseason, thousands of fans voted in our "Team For the Ages" contest to construct the best imaginable 50-man roster from the NFL’s modern era, which began in 1967. The votes have been counted, and we’re unveiling one player each weekday between now and the kickoff of the 2018 NFL season.
Cowboys OG Larry Allen
Allen, thought to be the most physically dominant offensive lineman in NFL history, played 12 seasons with the Dallas Cowboys, and two more with the 49ers, earning 11 Pro Bowl appearances and seven consecutive All-Pro seasons from 1995-2001. He was named to the NFL’s All Decade Teams of the 1990s and 2000s, and was inducted into the Hall of Fame in 2013. He is the leading vote-getter at offensive guard on Pro Football Weekly’s 'Team for the Ages,' the NFL modern-era's greatest 50-man roster.
They said it
Legendary NFL broadcaster and Hall of Fame Coach John Madden once said of Allen during a 1999 Monday night football game against the Indianapolis Colts, “If I went back into coaching and I could take one guy with me, it would be that guy, No. 73 white.”
There are no stats available for offensive linemen from the 20th century, but one of Allen’s most impressive feats is that he played every position but center for the Cowboys. He started at right tackle (1994), then moved to right guard (1995-97), played left tackle from 1997-98 and then shifted back to right guard (1999-2003), while earning Pro Bowl trips at every spot but right tackle.
Did you know?
Allen followed an interesting path to the NFL. A poor student coming out of high school, he played two years at Butte College in Oroville, California, spent a year away from the game after junior college and then played two years at Division II Sonoma State.
In spite of his relatively low-profile college career, after being a two-time All American at Sonoma, he was invited to both the East-West Shrine Game and the Senior Bowl, where he wowed scouts and coaches with his massive 6-3, 325-pound frame at a time when sub-300-pound linemen were still the norm in the NFL.
In Allen's NFL playoff debut, the 1994 divisional round vs. Green Bay, the Cowboys' second-ranked scoring attack blasted the Packers, 35-9. Allen and Co. rolled up 450 yards, produced three 100-plus yard pass catchers and three rushing touchdowns, while allowing Troy Akiman to be sacked only once by Reggie White's Packers.
Previous "Team for the Ages" player announcements