Larry Allen is considered one of the most dominant offensive lineman in NFL history, and to nobody's surprise, he has been enshrined in the Pro Football Hall of Fame in his first year of eligibility.
Allen started his speech with the customary, "How 'bout them Cowboys?" and thanked Jerry Jones, owner of the team and the person who presented Allen to the Hall of Fame. From there, he began thanking his family and talking about them, with two quips:
"She made me two chickens, french fries, baked me a cake and gave me a 40 ounce," Allen said of his wife. "I knew then that was my wife." Speaking of his daughter, Loriana, who plays basketball, he said she is "kind of like LeBron James."
Allen said the most important lesson he ever learned when he was younger was to never back down from anybody. "I knew I had to win in every play, and that's the reason why I'm here today," he said.
From there, he talked about the Cowboys teams he played on. He said he had the benefit of learning from some very talented players on those Super Bowl-winning Dallas teams, and said he also practiced against some great players, saying Charles Haley "should be in the Hall of Fame."
He said Troy Aikman showed him how to come in and be a professional every day, Michael Irvin showed him that you can never practice too much, and Deion Sanders showed him that it's "alright to be the best."
Allen said that he became the strongest man in the NFL, and then quipped, "I did it naturally." After a chuckle, he said "Once I benched 700 pounds, they tested me twice a week for the rest of my career."
"I did it all for respect," Allen said. "Respect from my teammates, my opponents and the NFL. Today, my mission is complete."
Allen thanked a long list of people, including the Hall of Fame committee for selecting him. But it's not like they had much of a choice -- just watch the video below for a good representation of Allen's career wrapped up into one play:
Allen was drafted in the second round by the Cowboys in 1994 and quickly established himself as one of the most versatile linemen in the league, playing every offensive line position except for center. Over 12 seasons, he was named to 11 Pro Bowls while helping Emmitt Smith set the all-time rushing yards record. He was the starting right guard when the Cowboys won Super Bowl XXX in 1996. Allen continued his dominance well into the 21st Century, being named to the NFL All-Decade Team in both the 1990s and 2000s. He spent his final two years with the San Francisco 49ers before retiring in 2008.
Watch ALlen's full speech here.