Emmitt Smith fights back tears after learning Cowboys teammate Larry Allen died: 'My heart is just broken'


The Dallas Cowboys and its fan base are in mourning after Hall of Fame lineman Larry Allen died at 52 years old while on vacation in Mexico with his family. 

The team announced the death of one of their great former players, and fellow Hall of Famer Emmitt Smith was very emotional speaking about Allen.

“I’m sitting on my back patio reflecting on one of the best offensive linemen I’ve ever played with, Larry Allen,” Smith said, adding that his daughter called him to relay the sad news.

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Emmitt Smith of the Dallas Cowboys, right, gets a hug from teammate Larry Allen after breaking the all-time rushing record at Texas Stadium in Irving on Oct. 27, 2002. (Paul Buck/AFP via Getty Images)

“I’m at a loss of words right now.”

Allen, an 11-time Pro Bowler and six-time All-Pro offensive lineman, helped Smith quite a ton the second he landed in Dallas as a second-round pick in the 1994 NFL Draft.

He played all but two seasons of his career on the Cowboys’ line (1994-2005), and he spent many of those years blocking for Smith, who anchored Dallas’ offense.

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“Such a good dude,” Smith said as he fought his emotions, “great player, super person. … It just breaks my heart. I know life is very fragile, and we’re only here for a moment. We need to make the best out of every moment and not take people for granted.”

As you’d expect, Allen and Smith were quite fond of one another on and off the field. Not only did Smith talk about how great of a football player he was, but more importantly, he spoke of the man he knew.

“The one thing about Larry Allen I know: He had a big heart, and he lived life to the fullest,” Smith said. “A man of very few words, but on the football field, he was a beast. He will be sorely missed.”

“My thoughts and prayers go out to his family. My heart is just broken.”

Smith wasn’t the only former Cowboys teammate who was devastated to hear the news as his quarterback, Troy Aikman, posted on X. 

“Just received the heartbreaking news of the passing of our beloved teammate Larry Allen,” Aikman wrote. “He was a HOF offensive lineman that dominated opponents regardless of the position played. Off the field, he was a gentle giant that loved his family. Rest in Peace LA.”

Emmitt Smith Larry Allen

Emmitt Smith (22) and Larry Allen (76) (Jerry Holt/Star Tribune via Getty Images/File)

NFL LEGEND LARRY ALLEN ‘PASSED AWAY SUDDENLY’ AT 52

The Cowboys announced the passing of Allen earlier Monday. 

“The Dallas Cowboys are very saddened to share that Cowboys legend, Super Bowl Champion, Cowboys Ring of Honor member, and Pro Football Hall of Famer Larry Allen passed away suddenly while on vacation in Mexico with his family on Sunday,” the team said. 

“Larry, known for his great athleticism and incredible strength, was one of the most respected, accomplished offensive linemen to ever play in the NFL. His versatility and dependability were also signature parts of his career. Through that, he continued to serve as inspiration for many other players defining what it meant to be a great teammate, competitor and winner,” the team continued in its statement.

“He was deeply loved and cared for by his wife, Janelle – whom he referred to as his heart and soul, his daughters Jayla and Loriana and son, Larry III.”

“The Jones family and 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 statement reads.

Allen won a Super Bowl with the Cowboys in 1995 and is widely regarded as one of the best interior lineman of all-time. 

Emmitt Smith

Former NFL player Emmitt Smith attends the game between the Augustana Vikings and the Duke Blue Devils at Cameron Indoor Stadium on Nov. 4, 2016, in Durham, North Carolina. (Lance King/Getty Images)

With his death, Smith offered a piece of advice for everyone who watched him reflect in real time after hearing the news. 

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“All I can say is: Live life to the fullest that you can. Love those that are closest to you, try to love those who are not near you as best as you can,” Smith said. 

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