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March 16, 2013

Dan Connor finds a new home, signing with the rival Giants

Linebacker Dan Connor, who was released by the Cowboys on Monday, found a new job Saturday. The New York Giants signed him to a one-year contract.

Connor, 27, had been offered a pay cut by the Cowboys to stay, but he turned it down. Dallas saved $3 million by cutting him.

Connor started eight games for the Cowboys last season after Sean Lee and then Bruce Carter were lost to season-ending injuries. He had 58 tackles, three for loss. Connor has played in 56 career games, with 27 starts, making 222 tackles, a sack, a forced fumble and a fumble recovery.

Connor could replace Chase Blackburn, who is a free agent, at middle linebacker.

“Being able to stay in the same division is great,” Connor told the team Web site. “There are so many rivalries. It’s a very competitive division to play in. I’m very excited to stay in it. [Giants-Cowboys] is a big-time rivalry. It runs deep. There are a couple of them in the NFC East. I know it’s a competitive one with definitive hatred from team to team, and you don’t see that much in the NFL. But it’s alive in this division."

Connor, a third-round pick of the Panthers, played four seasons in Carolina before signing a two-year, $6.5 million deal with Dallas last off-season.

“I’ve had a lot of different experiences,” Connor said via the Giants. “I’ve been in a 4-3, I’ve been in a 3-4 before. I’ve played under four different coordinators in my five years. I’ve had a lot of opportunities to play in different systems.

“Talking to the Giants coaches, the [4-3] system seems to fit me. I wanted to get back into a 4-3 look. It’s a great opportunity. When my agent called me and said they were interested, I was so thrilled. This is a class organization with a lot of tradition. They’re a successful team with a winning tradition and it was something I wanted to be a part of. I’m really looking forward to it.”

He is the fourth player from the Cowboys' 2012 roster to leave. Marcus Spears signed with the Ravens after being released by the Cowboys earlier this week. Kevin Ogletree (Bucs) and John Phillips (Chargers) left as free agents.

-- Charean Williams



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