Remembering Larry Allen, One Of The Greatest NFL Players Of All-Time Could Bench Press 700 Pounds

Larry Allen has tragically passed away at the age of 52, yet his legacy will carry on. Allen will always be remembered as arguably not only the best offensive lineman in the history of football, but also as one of the all-time greatest players to ever play in the NFL.

As many know Allen was a Dallas Cowboys legend, and the 11x Pro-Bowler was a pivotal player in the team's XXX Super Bowl victory over the Pittsburgh Steelers during the 1995-1996 season.

There are many great stories throughout Allen's illustrious career, that those who love the game of football will be able to remember him by, as he was often seen as a larger than life hero by fans and teammates alike. Even Cowboys owner Jerry Jones himself once recalled a time when Allen showed super human strength while in the team weight room.

"Larry Allen benched pressed 700 pounds, now that's world class lifting, forget football, but that's the kind of strength he had."

Allen confirmed he was "all-natural" and in his Hall of Fame induction speech he noted that since this feat was so unbelievable, the NFL drug tested him for steroids.

"Once I benched 700 pounds, they tested me twice a week for the rest of my career."

In addition, at 6-3, 325 pounds, Allen's athleticism also extended into his explosive acceleration and speed.

Jones said, "For a man of his size, he was the toughest, strongest, fastest, quickest man I've ever seen."

In view of his athletic ability, on a Monday Night Football game during the '94 season, Allen as a rookie, showcased one of the most awe-inspiring plays ever seen by an interior O-Lineman. America witnessed Allen running down Saints linebacker Darion Conner in what should have been a "pick-six" (December 19, 2024); The MNF game ended with the Cowboys winning 24-16.

In addition to being a physical specimen, Dallas Cowboys O-Line coach Hudson Houck once said, "Larry is one of the most intelligent players I coached in 40-plus years."

Allen grew up in Compton, California and was taught many life lessons at a young age that translated into helping him become a better football player.

First of all, Allen was lucky even to be able to survive his childhood, as his mother Vera told the LA Times back in 1994, when Allen was drafted, that they survived many nights of gunshots.

"We would hear the gunfire outside our house, we would automatically roll out of the bed, lay on the floor until the shooting stopped, then get back in bed and go to sleep... After a while, we got pretty good at that."

Allen himself even noted that he was forced to be tough as a kid, and he credits this to much of his success on the football field.

"Compton is well known for the street gangs, the Bloods and the Crips, and yeah, growing up was a rough experience," Allen said in an interview. "Looking back, I think it taught me to be a tough person. Maybe sometimes on the football field, especially in high school and college, I was taking out some of my frustrations."

That is to say, Allen also told a story during his Hall of Fame speech that when he was only nine years old, he was protecting his younger brother from a 12-year-old neighbor who had a knife. Notably, Allen was stabbed 12 times in the head and shoulder, nevertheless, he said after this incident, his mother made him go back and fight again.

"My mother said, 'I'm not raising any punks, so she made me fight this guy,'" Allen said. "She said, 'You will fight him until you win.' First day I lost. Second day I lost. The third day I finally won. That was one of the most valuable lessons I learned in my life, never to back down from anybody."

Larry certainly never backed down from anybody, but many backed down from him.

Hall of Fame President Jim Porter summed up the persona of Allen.

"[Allen] could literally beat the will out of his opponents, with many quitting mid-game or not dressing at all rather than face him, but that was only on the field. Off it, he was a quiet, gentle giant."

It is in fact verified that opposing players would purposefully avoid playing in games in which they would be matched up against Allen.

Hall of Fame defensive end Michael Strahan, confirmed this rumor.

"The saddest thing is how many players will watch him on film during the week and then pull up with some mysterious injury or flu or something. We call that catching 'Allen-itis.'"

Just how good was Larry Allen? Allen's former teammate on the Cowboys, wide receiver Michael Irvin stated that Larry was even underrated.

"I hear people say Larry was the best offensive lineman in the game, and that's just not right... Larry was the best player in the league, and it wasn't even close."

One of the all-time great football players will surely be missed by all who ever watched the sport.

Allen highlighted his career during the Hall of Fame speech by referencing what drove him to be the best.

"My goal was simple, to earn a seven-letter word called respect," he said. "The respect of my teammates, opponents, and the NFL. Today, my mission is complete. I also played hard, whistle to whistle, to make my opponents submit. And today, I'm submitting to you... I've been blessed to play the game I love. And remember this, it has never been about me, Larry Allen, but the many, many people that helped me out."

Allen will always be remembered as the selfless gentle giant who personified what it meant to be an all-time great NFL offensive lineman on the gridiron, in addition to being a great son/husband/father/teammate off the field.

Related: Larry Allen, Cowboys Legend And Hall Of Famer, Passes Away At 52