In a move that had been widely expected, the Dallas Cowboys signed linebacker Dan Connor, Todd Archer reports via Twitter.
Dan Connor is a four-year veteran out of Penn State, where he was a teammate of Sean Lee and set Penn State's career tackles record. He is also a former Chuck Bednarik Award winner, and a former Senior Bowl MVP. JimmyK of BloggingTheBEast notes that during Connor’s senior season at Happy Valley, Connor had 145 tackles and 6 sacks. Lee, a junior at the time, had 138 tackles, 3 sacks, and 3 FF.
In the NFL, he recorded 87 tackles and a forced fumble over 15 games (11 starts) last season for the Carolina Panthers, who drafted him in the third round in 2008. Connor is 26, and comes with a reputation as a quality run-stopping inside linebacker. In Carolina he played behind Jason Beason but still recorded 19 career starts, notching 156 tackles in the process.
In Dallas, the 6-3, 233 lbs Connor is expected to compete with Bruce Carter for a starting job and will likely see a lot of snaps in various sub packages. Earlier in the day, Jason Garrett was already raving about Connor:
"We're excited to have Dan Connor in, a Penn State guy, drafted by Carolina. He right kind of guy, a very productive player for them, a very productive player in college," Garrett said. "We've had a good visit with him so far and we'll get the chance to visit with him more today and just see where we are and where he is and continue along with this process."
Connor has also developed a bit of a reputation for his humorous tweets, for which the Panthers' SBNation site Cat Scratch Reader dubbed him The Panthers Most Interesting Man, although his twitter account (@DanConnor55) has been dormant for a while.
Connor is already the sixth free agent the Cowboys have signed in the last two days, and he's unlikely to be the last free agent to sign in Dallas.