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News: DMN's Kevin B. Blackistone: How silly for Allen to sully his rep

Discussion in 'News Zone' started by Charles, May 7, 2004.

  1. Charles

    Charles Benched

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    Kevin B. Blackistone: How silly for Allen to sully his rep

    09:25 PM CDT on Thursday, May 6, 2004


    [IMG]
    Larry Allen (right) has been a Pro Bowler eight times in his 10-year career but has had weight-training issues with coach Bill Parcells (left).


    He's been picked for the Pro Bowl eight times. Was named to the NFL's All-1990's team. Won a Super Bowl ring.

    Who would think disappointingly about Larry Allen if he just retired tomorrow? Who is he looking to for guidance at this point in his career? The running back he long cleared space for? The quarterback he long protected?

    Emmitt Smith and Troy Aikman are bad role models on this issue.

    For the Cowboys' No. 73, the guy who some broadcasters have gushed over as being the best offensive lineman of his era, the guy who has gone about mounting a marvelous career at guard and tackle quite unassumingly, is daring right now to sully the reputation he's cobbled for himself as the great and humble warrior.

    He refused a trade to Detroit that would've helped his only NFL employer and loosened him from Bill Parcells, the Cowboys' coach with whom he doesn't seem to get along.

    He hasn't attended "voluntary" workouts at Valley Ranch.

    He lost a war of wills with Parcells last season and now has engaged the coach in a war of words he isn't likely to win, especially given his lack of loquaciousness.

    When your agent sounds as if he is siding with management rather than you, which is how Marvin Demoff sounded earlier this week, you know you've strayed. Demoff all but echoed Parcells by saying that Allen needs to decide if he wants to play football for the Cowboys anymore. I wonder if he wants to play football anymore.

    Allen is 32. He's played 10 years in the NFL's trenches. His age and wear-and-tear have started to show.

    He was so nicked a couple of seasons ago that his string of invites to the Pro Bowl got broken. He can't play tackle anymore, the offensive line position for which premiums are paid, because he's no longer quick enough to keep pass rushing ends at bay.

    He was on and off the field last season because of continued aches and pains and stamina problems, but he managed to make one more Pro Bowl roster. That honor was mostly because Allen is so highly respected and appreciated.

    The last few weeks won't add to that affection but likely will detract from it. It reminds of Emmitt Smith's refusal to call it a record-setting career right here in Dallas, which led to an embarrassing injury-plagued season in Arizona last year that put some tarnish on his heretofore-sparkling reputation. It's selfish sounding stuff. It sounds as if Allen wants everything his way, team be damned.

    But the new boss at Valley Ranch runs everything his way. He doesn't adjust his modus operandi to meet his players' wishes like previous bosses did to meet their players' desires, especially stars like Allen.

    Parcells shouldn't change. He's got credentials that Dave Campo and Chan Gailey did not. And the guys he has inherited and chosen haven't won anything, save a ticket to last season's playoffs, to merit special consideration.

    As much as Parcells may want Allen, and could use him given that he is his best offensive player, he doesn't need him. Mere serviceable left tackles may be difficult to find, but decent guards are not. Tyson Walter, for example, has filled in admirably for Allen the past couple of seasons.

    It could be that Allen just wants to prove himself, and to everyone else, that he can still be dominant. But how do you do that working out on your own?

    To his credit, he impressed coaches who watched him work out for Oakland, which was interested in acquiring him before the draft. Thirty-two isn't ancient on the offensive line; it is just on the other side of the hill.

    But Allen's obstinacy makes me wonder if he doesn't just want to cash checks. After all, he's due $3.5 million this season and has three more years to go on his contract. The Cowboys aren't likely to cut him this year, because he'd be too great of a hit against the salary cap.

    That is a lot of dough to leave in the owner's pocket. It's the reason so many guys find it difficult to walk away when the time seems to have dawned. Who can figure out where else or how else to pull down those kinds of checks annually unless you can become a TV or film superstar or Fortune 500 chief executive?

    Jerry Jones would certainly work out a nice golden parachute for his finest lineman, a certain Hall of Fame inductee.

    And Allen shouldn't be hurting for money anyway. His last contract gave him $12 million just for his autograph.

    So what if he can't finish its terms? There is no shame in that. But do bow out honorably.

    E-mail kblackistone@dallasnews.com
  2. Hostile

    Hostile Tacos are a good investment Zone Supporter

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    Great article. I hope this guy comes in focused and proves a lot of people wrong. he's got a great coaching philosophy to cling to. If he doesn't then it is about his pride.
  3. NOVA 22

    NOVA 22 Member

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  4. Hollywood Henderson

    Hollywood Henderson Benched

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    I rarely saw him play well last year and often seemed like just moving was a bit too much to ask for him during a play...Kinda like Nate Newton his last year...Too fat in the wallet and body to move much...
  5. BigDPlayer

    BigDPlayer Active Member

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    I guess I just don't get it. Maybe he thought BP 'dissed' him last season. But from what I've read BP has made it clear that the slate is clean if you just show up in shape and ready to play.

    I tell you, I will lose ALL respect for LA should he blow off the Cowboys after he signs a $12M signing bonus. His bullshyte started immediately after that signing. Straight up, if he quits or is trying to get cut or whatever, I consider it stealing and a slap in the face to the best franchise in sports.
  6. Star-Fan

    Star-Fan Old enough to remember the Ice Bowl, Young enough

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    I don't think he started slacking after his new contract and signing bonus.. I recall the play against the Texans on opening day. The replay clearly showed the damage he sustained, yet he kept playing. He has been hurt the last couple of seasons. I think, or rather I hope this season he will be FULLY healthy. I don't know, maybe I'm one of the few that still would like to see him on this team, and I believe he can still contribute.
  7. BigDPlayer

    BigDPlayer Active Member

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    You're right... he was injured the year immediately following his new contract. And then last season he was just... who knows. By all accounts the injury wasn't an issue but his lack of conditioning was everything.

    I just hope he pulls his head out and is a professional.
  8. Sarge

    Sarge Happy Holidays Staff Member

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    .......exactly. The writing has been on the wall the past couple of years. Some can't or don't, want to come to grips with the reality that Larry Allen is no longer Larry Allen, not even close.

    Old Cowboys never retire, they just keep collecting checks.

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