Cowboys great Larry Allen dead at 52: team

<a class="link " href="" data-i13n="sec:content-canvas;subsec:anchor_text;elm:context_link" data-ylk="slk:Dallas Cowboys;sec:content-canvas;subsec:anchor_text;elm:context_link;itc:0">Dallas Cowboys</a> great Larry Allen has passed away at the age of 52, the team said Monday (Stephen Dunn)
Dallas Cowboys great Larry Allen has passed away at the age of 52, the team said Monday (Stephen Dunn)

Former Dallas Cowboys star Larry Allen has passed away suddenly aged 52 while on vacation in Mexico, the team announced on Monday.

Allen, a physically imposing offensive linemen who was a key part of the Cowboys' last Super Bowl victory in 1996, played 14 seasons in the NFL.

The Cowboys said in a statement Allen was "one of the most respected, accomplished offensive linemen to ever play in the NFL."

He was inducted to the NFL's Hall of Fame at the first attempt in 2013, and was regularly included in team of the decade lineups for the 1990s and 2000s.

The 10-time Pro-Bowler spent 12 seasons with the Cowboys before finishing his career with the San Francisco 49ers in 2006.

"The Cowboys extend their deepest condolences, thoughts and prayers to the Allen family and grieve along with the many other friends and Cowboys teammates that also loved Larry," the Cowboys said in a statement.

The Pro Football Hall of Fame saluted Allen as a "gentle giant" despite his intimidating effect on opposing players.

"The National Football League is filled with gifted athletes, but only a rare few have combined the size, brute strength, speed and agility of Larry Allen," Hall of Fame president Jim Porter said in a statement.

"What he could do as an offensive lineman often defied logic and comprehension ... He could literally beat the will out of his opponents, with many quitting midgame or not dressing at all rather than face him, but that was only on the field. Off it, he was a quiet, gentle giant.