The Cowboys needed to get younger at Inside Linebacker. While even though they have Bruce Carter and the Rising Star Sean Lee, they needed a guy who knows the game that could come in and help this Defense out. Also, Bruce Carter is set to be the starter opposite Lee but he has not started before. We also needed a guy that could be a starter. Dan Connor was that man.
The cowboys are building a mold of who they want on Defense. They want smart, tough, instinctful players who have leadership skills. They think they have struck gold with a Penn State Linebacker. Maybe lightning strikes twice. He is a former All-American and Leading Tackler at Penn State. Since entering the NFL, Connor has suffered some injuries. Even this off season he had to have shoulder surgery. But if he can put together another season where he is healthy and productive, we should have a much better Defense.
Last year Dan Connor had 75 tackles. He played 15 games for the Panthers, starting in 11 of those. While Dan Connor is not the greatest athlete, he is a good run stopper. Also he is a sure tackler. His missed Tackle Percentage is 1.7 percent. This was one of the league leaders in that category. So missed tackles should not be a huge concern with him.
Sean Lee and Dan Connor have alot of things in common. Both went to Penn State. Both were Pennsylvania natives who also played Running back in highschool. How many people can say that they had 4,000 yards rushing and 400 tackles in their Highschool career? They are very smart players who work extremely hard. Part of this is no coincidence. Dan Connor was someone that Lee looked up to. “He was a guy that I modeled myself after in college and a guy that I really looked up to,” Lee said in an interview by Carlos Mendez for the Star Telegram. “He’s a guy that’s an extremely hard worker. He’s a guy that leads by example every day. He had a great career at Penn State. He’s a really good linebacker and a complete player. I’m excited to play with him again.”
Dan Connor should be ready for Training Camp. One of the reasons he wanted to come to Dallas was not how Sean Lee has played and the chance to play with him, but the chance to start along side of him. He will get his chance. And perhaps now the teacher becomes the student. You have to have good Inside Linebackers that control the field and make plays. With Sean Lee and Connor being 26 and Bruce Carter being 24, the Cowboys have a bright outlook of the future on Defense. The Inside Linebacker spot will be another positon that will have tough competition.