CANTON, Ohio – Outside of the locker room, Larry Allen rarely let people get to know what he was really like. He was just shy.
“My goal was simple, to earn a seven letter word called respect,” Allen said, adding, “Today, my mission is complete.”
With teammates Troy Aikman, Michael Irvin and Emmitt Smith on the stage and teammates like Alvin Harper, Russell Maryland and Nate Newton in the seats in front of him, Allen spoke for more than 16 minutes in a heartfelt acceptance speech at the Pro Football Hall of Fame.
He thanked family, friends and teammates.
And those close to Allen could not say enough good things about what they thought about his speech.
“What I love is that everybody got to see what Larry Allen was all about,” Cowboys executive vice president Stephen Jones said. “That’s probably more than he said in 12 years with the Cowboys. It was amazing.”
Jason Garrett, the current coach and Allen’s former teammate, said teammates were texting him during the day about the length of Allen’s speech. Thirty seconds? A minute? Ninety seconds?
“He was just tremendous,” Garrett said. “He’s such a genuine person and I think he captured what made him great really, really well. Dominate your opponent and all those things, he’s such a prideful person, and I think that was a big contributing factor to how great a player he was.”