The Dallas Cowboys Larry Allen Was Built Different

The most important lesson he learned in life on his journey from Compton To Canton

Barry Gipson


Larry Allen Dallas Cowboys NFL Compton Canton Built Different
Spending his first twelve seasons with the Cowboys, Larry Allen earned ten Pro Bowl selections and seven first-team All-Pro honors. His ten Pro Bowl selections are the most for a Cowboys offensive player. He was also part of the team that won a Super Bowl title in Super Bowl XXX over the Pittsburgh Steelers. Allen played his final two seasons with the San Francisco 49ers, where he received his eleventh Pro Bowl selection. He was inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame in 2013.


Larry Allen was stabbed 12 times in the head, shoulder, and neck by a young neighbor while trying to protect his brother at the age of 10. Growing up in Compton, CA is not for the faint of heart. During his Hall of Fame speech, he shares details of the most important life lesson he ever learned. Thanks to his Mother who didn’t raise any punks.

Allen’s stock dropped in the 1994 NFL Draft because of his small-school background and a rotator cuff injury. He was the tenth offensive lineman selected in the draft and the first player ever chosen from Sonoma State.

As a Freshman at Centennial High School in Compton, he lettered in football. Ironically, years later I would find myself in his alma mater’s hallways recruiting Seniors while on active duty in the Navy in the early 2000s.

During February we focused on the defensive side of the ball. In March, we will be getting more offensive. What made Allen so different than all other offensive linemen? He played all but one position along the offensive line in his 11 seasons in Dallas, moving between right tackle (1994), right guard (1995–1997), left tackle (1997–1998) and left guard (1999–2003).

Larry Allen Bill Parcells Dallas Cowboys Offensive Linemen
Bill Parcells and Larry Allen had Hall of Fame careers despite their lack of success together in Dallas. AP Photo/Donna McWilliam

Motor City

During the 2023 NFL Draft, the Dallas Cowboys passed on an offensive lineman for NT Mazi Smith at pick 26 in the 1st RD. The Cowboys have not drafted that high defensively since Russell Maryland went #1 in the 1991 Draft. Word on the street if the ’24 Draft is packed with offensive linemen.

During the 1990’s the Cowboys had The Great Wall of Dallas. Currently, we have the Texas Coast Offense. The run game in Dallas always prided itself on the chemistry of the offensive linemen. Allen can arguably be the best player to ever grace an offensive line thanks to his specific skill set.

The Cowboys have the 24th pick in the first RD of the NFL Draft this April. I would bet my…



Barry Gipson

A Father, Dallas Cowboys fan, and veteran sharing advice and more for the '24 NFL season. A pivot in content.