The football gods bless some people with size, some with strength, and others with speed. Every once in awhile, a player comes along who’s so big, so strong, and so fast that it just doesn’t make any sense. Larry Allen was one of those people. Here he is, making arguably the most athletic play in the history of the NFL:
Larry ALLEN!? I can’t believe that! Give me a break!
What makes this play so impressive? For starters, the guy’s 325 pounds. He’s the size of a small buffalo. Second, he’s chasing and catching Darion Conner, a speedy linebacker who’s probably giving up 100 pounds to Allen. And third, Allen executes a technically perfect tackle to prevent the score, which which would be impressive if he played on defense, but it’s downright unreasonable given that he’s an offensive player.
Adding to the myth of Larry Allen is that he’s regarded as the strongest person to ever play in the NFL. Not the scariest, that’s these guys:
But definitely the strongest. He officially recorded a 705 lb bench press and a 905 lb squat.
I never seen a guy bench press 705 pounds. I was there the day he did it. I would have never thought a guy could naturally lift that – that type of weight, man.
Nate Newton, Dallas Cowboy 1986 – 1998
Outside of Dallas, where Allen played essentially his whole career, “Larry Allen” isn’t a name you hear too often. But his prowess on the field is far from forgotten; his name forever imbued into the football lexicon.
During my career, I didn’t talk that much. But I didn’t have to – I used my helmet.
An 11-time Pro Bowler and 7-time All Pro, he’s widely recognized as one of the best offensive linemen to ever play the game; enshrined in the Dallas Cowboys Ring of Honor and the Pro Football Hall of Fame.
I remember getting the call from Jerry, saying, ‘Son, would you like to be a Cowboy?’ I said, ‘Yes, sir.’ Ran out my apartment, jumped in the swimming pool with all my clothes on.
Larry Allen on being drafted by the Dallas Cowboys
Though it wasn’t that long ago, his on-field heroics seem curiously distant in our collective memory. Thankfully, grainy, low-res evidence exists, so when you hear stories about Larry Allen – the fleet-footed gazelle who could bench press 700 pounds – you know they’re not tall tales, but real fucking facts.