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Former NFL player Larry Allen becomes emotional after being elected into the Pro Football Hall of Fame during the Pro Football Hall of Fame Press Conference at the New Orleans Convention Center on February 2, 2013 in New Orleans, Louisiana© Getty

Legendary NFL player Larry Allen's daughter breaks silence on his sudden death at 52 during family vacation

The former Dallas Cowboys offensive lineman was with his family in Mexico when he unexpectedly passed away

Beatriz Colon
Beatriz Colon - New York
New York WriterNew York
June 4, 2024
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Jayla Allen, the daughter of Larry Allen, widely considered to have been one of the best offensive linemen in NFL history, is paying tribute to him following his sudden death aged 52.

The Super Bowl champion, who played for the Dallas Cowboys for 12 of his 14 seasons with the league, died unexpectedly while on vacation with his family in Mexico, however no cause of death has been disclosed yet.

In a statement announcing his passing, his former team shared: "Larry, known for his great athleticism and incredible strength, was one of the most respected, accomplished offensive linemen to ever play in the NFL," adding that 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."

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In her own statement on Instagram, Jayla, 29, wrote: "I don't know how to write this message and what to say. I am in complete shock. I feel like this is a nightmare and I can't [wake] up," adding: "Every night I would pray to keep you safe. This doesn't feel real dad. I am heartbroken and don't know where to go from this."

She continued: "I was blessed with the best father who loved me unconditionally. You would do anything for our family and I am forever grateful. I feel completely broken and don't know where to go from here. The pain of losing you will stay with me forever… You were my best friend and twin," and concluded with: "People always said we were so much alike and that always made me smile. I know you are in peace and with granny. I love you always and forever! Rest in peace."

Along with her heartbreaking tribute, Jayla shared a round of photos of her and her dad through the years, including one of him in scrubs at the hospital after her birth, one from her 13th birthday, and another of her as a toddler clad in a Cowboys jersey during one of the late athlete's games.

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The comments section under the post was then quickly flooded with supportive messages, with one of Jayla's followers writing: "Much love to you and your family today Jayla. Praying for peace and healing for y'all," as others followed suit with: "So sorry Jayla, sending love and healing your way," and: "Praying for you and your family!! I am so sorry for your loss!!" as well as: "Sending my deepest condolences. My prayers and God's strength to you and your family."

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Though Larry kept his family life largely out of the spotlight — he retired from the NFL in 2007, after first being drafted in 1994 — when he was inducted into the NFL Hall of Fame in 2013, he recalled his first date with his wife Janelle, and gushed about their three kids together. 

Photo of the late Larry Allen with his family, including wife Janelle and their three kids, in 2021© Instagram
The Allen family in 2021

"I want to thank my heart and soul, my wife, Janelle. On our first date, she cooked for me. She cooked me two chickens, french fries and baked me a cake," he recalled, before declaring: "I knew then, that was my wife right there."

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Photo of the late Larry Allen with his daughter Jayla© Instagram
Larry won the Super Bowl in 1996

"She has blessed me with three beautiful children, Jayla Lee Allen, she's a talented actress and a writer. She helped me write this speech," he also shared, and that she was headed to Pepperdine University that year. "I'm so proud of my little mama, and I hope she'll turn into I know she's going to be an amazing woman."

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Photo of the late Larry Allen with his daughter Jayla© Instagram

Of his other two kids, he said: "My youngest, Loriana Allen, she's a basketball player. She's kind of like LeBron James. She's pretty good. She's the funniest person I know. She makes me laugh all the time."

"To my son, Larry Allen III. He's a 6'4", 290 pound offensive lineman that plays at De La Salle High School, the No. 1 team in California. He's the smartest person I know, and I'm proud of you, son. Very polite, but once he gets on that field, he's a beast, just like his daddy."

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