Larry Allen's Daughter Is 'in Complete Shock' After Former Cowboys Star Dies Suddenly on Family Vacation

"I feel like this is a nightmare and I can’t wake up," Jayla Allen wrote in an Instagram tribute on Monday

<p>Jayla Allen/Instagram</p>

Jayla Allen/Instagram

The eldest daughter of legendary Dallas Cowboys star Larry Allen is speaking out, one day after his sudden death at age 52 while on vacation with his family in Mexico.

Late Monday, Jayla Allen shared a carousel of pictures on Instagram of herself and her father, who was widely considered one of the greatest offensive lineman in the history of the NFL.

“I don’t know how to write this message and what to say. I am in complete shock,” Jayla, 29, began her post alongside the photos. “I feel like this is a nightmare and I can’t wake up. 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.”

In the images, Allen is seen in moments from Jayla’s childhood, from her birth through other milestones, like the athlete’s induction into the NFL Hall of Fame in 2013.

Related: Larry Allen, Retired Dallas Cowboys Hall of Fame Player, Dead at 52 While on Vacation in Mexico with Family

Jayla, a student at Pepperdine University at the time, reportedly helped her famously publicity-shy dad write his speech.

In her post on Instagram, Jayla honored her father, who “would do anything” for their family, which includes her mother and Larry’s wife, Janelle, and her younger siblings Larry III and Loriana.

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“I was blessed with the best father who loved me unconditionally,” Jayla wrote. “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. 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.”

<p>Jayla Allen/Instagram</p>

Jayla Allen/Instagram

The Cowboys announced Allen’s death on behalf of Jayla and her family on June 3.

“Larry, known for his great athleticism and incredible strength, was one of the most respected, accomplished offensive linemen to ever play in the NFL,” the team said in a statement shared on Monday.

They added, “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.”

A first-ballot Hall of Famer, Allen played 14 seasons in the NFL — from 1994 to 2007 — including 12 years with the Cowboys.

Related: Golden Richards, Former Dallas Cowboys Receiver Who Made Famous Super Bowl Catch, Dead at 73 : ‘A Kind and Sweet Soul’

On Monday, many of Allen’s former teammates, including Troy Aikman and Michael Irvin, also shared tributes about the player, who was a  “gentle giant” off the field, but so much struck fear in the eyes of opponents, that players would suddenly declare they were sick so they wouldn’t have to face him.

“No words to describe the feeling of losing a brother, teammate and most importantly, a friend. Someone who always put others first,” Allen’s former teammate Emmitt Smith wrote on X. “A beast on field and a gentle soul off. Rest in peace to a true Cowboy and one of greatest — you will be truly missed.”

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