He was a 10-time Pro Bowl guard for the Dallas Cowboys, helping them win Super Bowl XXX before spending his final two years in a San Francisco 49ers uniform.
On Saturday, Larry Allen was inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame in Canton, Ohio in his first year of eligibility. Two other finalists with ties to the 49ers — Charles Haley and Eddie DeBartolo — did not make the final cut.
A Los Angeles native, Allen played at four different California high schools before starring at Butte College and later enrolling at Sonoma State.
Picked by the Cowboys in the second-round of the 1994 draft, Allen quickly became one of the most dominant linemen in the league, protecting Troy Aikman and creating holes for Emmitt Smith to run through.
Allen was also regarded as one of football’s strongest, able to bench press over 700 pounds, but also one of its quietest.
Wearing black shades and fighting tears during his acceptance speech, Allen said:
“During my career, I didn’t talk too much. I didn’t have to. I used my helmet.”
Leaving Dallas in 2006, Allen signed with the 49ers and made his 11th Pro Bowl that year; he was also selected as an alternate during his final season in 2007.
Frank Gore gained over 2,700 rushing yards with Allen on the line.
Allen notably started 197-of-203 games over a 14-year career; the 41-year-old closed his speech saying:
“Thank you to the Hall of Fame, the Hall of Fame voters, and the city of Canton for letting me be a part of this outstanding fraternity of men.”