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October 22, 2012

Garrett says Connor "looked comfortable," made big plays in relief of Lee

Dan Connor got his first taste of playing weakside linebacker since his college days when he stepped in Sunday for injured teammate Sean Lee during the Dallas Cowboys’ 19-14 victory over the Carolina Panthers. Connor, a five-year veteran, stepped in to make two tackles and broke up a pass in the red zone to help preserve the Cowboys’ victory.

“He looked comfortable out there,” said Cowboys coach Jason Garrett. “He made a heck of a play on a third-down stop ... and knocked the ball away on a slant in the red zone.”

Garrett said Connor’s performance was his best since signing with Dallas as a free agent in the off-season.

Connor said he was happy to expand his role in a moment’s notice but acknowledged he may not have been as comfortable as Garrett envisioned.

“I’ve mostly been the middle (linebacker) wherever I’ve been, so it’s a little adjustment,” Connor said. “That’s how the NFL goes. It’s a long season. Guys aren’t usually able to stay healthy the whole time. It’s about getting a role, taking advantage of your role and always being prepared to go in there. Watching Sean, … that helped me step in and make some plays and feel comfortable out there.”

Connor said he will be ready to do so again if Lee cannot play Sunday against the New York Giants. But Lee (toe) has made it clear he plans to play.

_ Jimmy Burch


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