IRVING, Texas -- Larry Allen is much more welcoming with the media than he was during his playing days, but he’s still not a man of many words.
For example, it took him all of a couple of seconds to sum up his feelings about possibly being inducted into the Ring of Honor, which he hasn’t heard anything official about.
“It would be great,” Allen said.
“It’s like old times,” the legendary offensive lineman replied with a laugh. “Quiet Larry.”
Allen also has a good chance to be a first-ballot Hall of Famer in 2013. Don’t worry about his speech dragging on for a half hour. He vowed that he’d thanked the right people and get off the stage in less than a minute.
First-round pick Tyron Smith declared on draft day that he plans to be a Hall of Famer, and Allen hopes to give the rookie a little assistance. Allen planned to take the Smith out to lunch Thursday and give him a little advice. That might consist of sharing some technical pointers, but Allen said he’d pretty much tell the rookie to listen to offensive line coach Hudson Houck and pick up the intensity a little bit.
The 20-year-old Smith was five when Allen made the first of his 11 Pro Bowls, so he might not be too familiar with Allen’s game. Coach Jason Garrett made sure the young offensive linemen recognized Allen’s greatness.
And, unlike Allen, Garrett went on and on and on:
“Larry Allen is one of the all-time greats,” Garrett said. “I told our guys afterwards that you’d be hard-pressed to find someone who played offensive line better than Larry Allen did in the history of the NFL.
"I remember his rookie year, he started at left tackle, he started at right tackle and then he played his natural position, guard. Then he went on for 15 years and made multiple Pro Bowls.
"The thing I remember about Larry as a teammate is a lot of people talk about, ‘He had a 700-pound bench.’ To me, I look at them like, ‘Are you guys kidding me? We’re talking about this guy’s bench press?’ This guy is one of the all-time greats. I don’t care if the bar bent. I can find some guys at Gold’s Gym who can do that. I can’t find guys who do what he does on a daily basis for as many years as he did it.
“He was a rare guy. He had unique toughness to go along with all his physical ability. He was so powerful and he was just a great teammate. I think anybody who was around him would say he had maybe as much credibility as any player we’ve ever been around.
“Having said all that, when you bring a guy like that around who wants to be around, it’s just a good thing. It’s good karma to have Larry Allen around. Whether he says something to you technically as an offensive lineman or just has his presence here, I think that’s a good thing.”