The Dallas Cowboys had a very special visitor at their practice facilities on Friday.
It was Highland Park High School legendary head football coach Randy Allen.
On Dec. 17, Allen and the Scots defeated Temple 16-7 to win the Class 5A Division 1 state football title. For Allen, the game was special on two other fronts.
First, the game occurred at AT&T Stadium in Arlington, which is the home of the Cowboys. And second, the Scots’ quarterback is John Stephen Jones, who is the son of Stephen Jones -- the Cowboy’ vice president.
Thus, when Allen toured the Cowboys’ practice facilities for the first time on Friday, he couldn’t help but get nostalgic.
“We had a really special year, we had great senior leadership and had a real chemistry on the team,’’ Allen said. “We got four guys hurt that were major players on offense, and the guys that stepped in did a tremendous job.
“JT Dooley (the son of Cowboys wide receiver coach Derek Dooley) was one of those guys who put off surgery until after the season so he could play, and he was instrumental in our (season), along with John Stephen Jones – Stephen’s son – who was a great leader at quarterback. We just had a great football team, a bunch of unselfish guys who put the team first.’’
The Scots played three of their playoff games this past season at the Ford Center, which is the Cowboys’ indoor practice facility. However, this was Allen’s first time in the Cowboys’ locker room at The Star, and he walked away very impressed.
“It’s beautiful,’’ said Allen, who has a 327-80-6 record. “What I like about this is there is no locker room smell, and those helmets really shine under those lights.
“I was at a coaching convention this past week and they had a sample of it. One locker costs $120,000.’’
Stephen Jones was the person who gave Allen the tour of The Star, and didn’t mind being the gracious host.
“First of all he’s one of the real legends in high school football,’’ Jones said of Allen. “I think he’s won as many games – if not more – than most.
“It’s certainly special for him to get to come out here. Of course, you know he had three big wins out here, too, so it’s big time.’’
Allen, who has coached at Highland Park since 1999, also attended the Cowboys’ Friday morning practice session. Thus, the entire day was a memorable one for Allen, who -- when Matthew Stafford was at quarterback -- also led the Scots to the 2005 Class 4A state title.
“Jones has been very nice to have us out today to watch practice,’’ Allen said. “(Cowboys) coach (Jason) Garrett has been great.
“I enjoyed what he said to the team at the end of the day – it made a lot of sense. I think those Cowboys are going to be ready to play Sunday (in the playoff game against Green Bay).’’
As for whether or not John Stephen Jones will one day have the fortune of being able to play for the Cowboys, Allen said: “I think his daddy might have something to say about that. I know he’d like to play.’’