Dallas Cowboys: Bruce Matthews

Hudson Houck on Larry Allen

November, 4, 2011

IRVING, Texas -- Hudson Houck knows what a Hall of Fame offensive lineman looks like.

He coached Bruce Matthews and Anthony Munoz at Southern Cal. He had Jackie Slater with the Los Angeles Rams.

Larry Allen, who will be inducted into the Cowboys’ Ring of Honor on Sunday, will one day be in that category.

“Larry is as explosive a player as I’ve ever coached,” Houck said. “Everyone knows he can run and he’s extremely strong and that he’s got great reaction, great recovery. His lower body strength, his core strength, that’s the thing when he is out of position that helps get him in the right position. But what people don’t know is how smart he is. He’s kind of a quiet man, but he’s a very smart man … He didn’t make mental mistakes and was a very good learner.”

Notice that Houck only used the past tense until the last part of the quote. Is he hoping Allen can return?

“I’m not so sure he couldn’t play, to be real honest with you,” Houck said. “He looks like he’s in pretty good shape when he’s been working with our guy.”

Houck knew right away Allen would be a great player. He saw it in practice when Allen went against Charles Haley, who is also being inducted into the Ring of Honor.

“Charles took him to the steam room a couple of times in practice, but he had such a great, prideful attitude that he didn’t want to get beat so he went to looking at it, studying it, seeing the tape, taking coaching well and sure enough Charles Haley came out and said, ‘Boy, you got something there. This is a great player.’”

Two memories stick with Houck: the first when he tracked down a New Orleans linebacker on an interception return and when he went against Green Bay’s Reggie White.

“Reggie gave him that hump move and moved him three or four yards over with that move,” Houck said. “Never happened again. Never happened again. He was so determined to not be embarrassed by that. If a guy beats you and he’s so embarrassed to now work on it and not let it happen a guy, that’s the sign of a great player.”

Report: LB coach Herring to Texans

January, 20, 2011
IRVING, Texas -- The Cowboys can add linebackers coach to the need list.

According to the Houston Chronicle, Reggie Herring has accepted a position with Houston to be the Texans’ linebackers coach. Herring interviewed with head coach Gary Kubiak on Wednesday and will be reunited with Wade Phillips. The Cowboys initially denied Houston permission to interview Herring but once it became clear Rob Ryan would take over as defensive coordinator they acquiesced.

Herring’s NFL career started in Houston in 2002-03 as linebackers coach and he came to the Cowboys in 2008 after serving as Arkansas’ defensive coordinator.

With Herring gone and Paul Pasqualoni at the University of Connecticut, the Cowboys have to find linebackers and defensive line coaches. It is possible secondary coach Dave Campo, who has been with the Cowboys for 17 of his 22 years in the NFL, could not return to that position in 2011.

Ryan could have a big say in the defensive staff, but head coach Jason Garrett has the final call. Garrett also has to find a wide receivers coach, and he has talked with Dan Campbell and Bruce Matthews about joining the team as an assistant offensive line coach.