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    Jets’ Tyron Smith Reminisces About Hall of Famer Larry Allen’s Passing: ‘Big Influence on Me’

    Larry Allen's passing has left a hole in the lives of many Cowboys, both past and present, including new Jets left tackle Tyron Smith.

    FLORHAM PARK, N.J. — For the better part of the late ’90s and 2000s, there wasn’t a more dominant offensive lineman in the NFL than Dallas Cowboys guard Larry Allen.

    It’s what makes his sudden passing two weeks ago at the age of 52 so tragic for the fans and teammates who saw him play for the better part of 14 seasons.

    Allen’s playing career may have ended in 2007, but the Hall of Famer has always been around the league and tried to be a helping hand to those entering the game of football. Tyron Smith is one of those players who may be at the twilight of his career now, but he remembers the teachings and support Allen gave him throughout his career.

    Tyron Smith Gives Touching Tribute to Larry Allen

    Smith entered the NFL in 2011 as the ninth overall pick by the Cowboys. He may have missed Allen’s career by four seasons, but the All-Pro tackle has reminisced a lot about the kind of help the veteran gave him — even if he’s now a member of the New York Jets.

    “Larry was a big influence for me the first couple of years. He’d come to training camp and gave me little tips here and there,” Smith said Tuesday afternoon at Jets minicamp. “He used to send us texts to give us a little encouragement before every game. It breaks everyone’s heart that he passed away.”

    MORE: Cowboys Legend Emmitt Smith Gives Emotional Tribute to Larry Allen

    Allen’s leadership was always on display as a member of the Cowboys and San Francisco 49ers later in his career. It’s something that Smith is trying to emulate now in a younger offensive line room than he’s used to down in Texas.

    “For me, any kind of tips I can give to anyone as far as technique, I’m willing to give it.”

    At 33 years old and now with a new team, Smith understands that his NFL career may be coming to a close in the near future. As an eight-time Pro Bowler and two-time first-team All-Pro, the former USC product has become somewhat of a mentor to younger players like the Jets’ current rookie Olu Fashanu.

    In many ways, the things that Smith is passing down are the same kind of tips that Allen gave to him over a decade ago.

    “You have to take him for what he taught us and grow from there.”

    As the Jets open up their second day of mandatory minicamp, they know they have a player who, like many across the league, is struggling to move on from a person who meant so much to them throughout their career and in league history.

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