Dan Connor (American football)

Dan Connor

refer to caption

Connor in 2010 with the Carolina Panthers
No. 57, 55, 52, 53
Position: Linebacker
Personal information
Date of birth: (1985-11-02) November 2, 1985
Place of birth: Wallingford, Pennsylvania
Height: 6 ft 2 in (1.88 m)
Weight: 241 lb (109 kg)
Career information
High school: Wallingford (PA) Strath Haven
College: Penn State
NFL Draft: 2008 / Round: 3 / Pick: 74
Career history
Career highlights and awards
Career NFL statistics as of Week 15, 2013
Tackles: 216
Quarterback sacks: 1.0
Interceptions: 0
Forced fumbles: 1
Player stats at NFL.com

Daniel Murphy Connor (born November 2, 1985) is an American football coach and former linebacker. He played college football for Penn State University and was a two-time All-American. The Carolina Panthers drafted him in the third round of the 2008 NFL Draft. He has also played for the Dallas Cowboys and New York Giants of the National Football League (NFL).

Early years

Connor was born in Wallingford, Pennsylvania. He played high school football at Strath Haven High School in Wallingford and was rated the number one linebacker in the country. He was also named to the USA Today Top 25 Supreme Team.[1] He played in the 2004 U.S. Army All-American Bowl. Connor rushed for over 1,500 yards his junior season and scored 29 touchdowns. On defense, he had more than 160 tackles to go along with 3 interceptions. As a senior he rushed the ball 231 times for 1,807 yards and 28 touchdowns. Defensively, Connor recorded 141 tackles, 11 sacks and three interceptions. For his career, Connor was 56-3 and started in 59 straight games. He finished with 591 carries for 4,531 yards and 77 rushing touchdowns. On defense, Connor amassed 461 tackles, 38 sacks and 19 interceptions.

College career

Connor attended Pennsylvania State University, where he played for coach Joe Paterno's Penn State Nittany Lions football team from 2004 to 2007. He earned All-America honors his junior and senior seasons at Penn State[2][3] and passed Nittany Lion great Paul Posluszny on November 3, 2007 to become first on Penn State's career tackles list.

Connor's game-high nine tackles along with an interception of a Colt Brennan pass in the 2008 Senior Bowl earned him the game's Under Armour Award—essentially the North team's MVP.[4][5]

Professional career


Connor's superlative college career led to his #23 ranking on Sports Illustrated‘s list of the top 25 2008 NFL Draft candidates.[6]

He ran a 4.63 40 yard dash at his Pro Day. He also bench pressed 225 lbs 22 times and jumped 35" vertically.

Carolina Panthers

Connor was drafted by the Carolina Panthers in the third round (74th overall) of the 2008 NFL Draft.[7] Due the Panthers' wealth of talent at linebacker, Connor played sparingly—mostly on special teams—in the first 3 weeks of the 2008 season before a torn ACL suffered during a loss to the Minnesota Vikings ended his season.[8]

Despite reportedly fielding several trade inquiries during the 2010 offseason, the Panthers made it clear Connor would compete for a starting job that season after the team released veteran linebacker Na'il Diggs.[9]

Dallas Cowboys

Connor signed with the Dallas Cowboys on March 15, 2012, reuniting him with former Penn State teammate Sean Lee.

On March 11, 2013, Connor was released by the Cowboys.[10]

New York Giants

Connor signed with the New York Giants on March 16, 2013.[11]

On September 12, 2013; Dan Connor was placed on the season-ending injury reserve with a neck injury. [12]

Second Stint with Panthers

On November 13, 2013, it was announced that Dan Connor signed an undisclosed one-year deal to return to the Carolina Panthers.[13]

Coaching career

In September 2014, Connor was hired as linebacker coach at West Chester University under Bill Zwaan.[14] In January 2016 Connor accepted the head coaching position at Archbishop Carroll High School in Radnor, Pennsylvania.


  1. "#40 Dan Connor". Penn State. Archived from the original on 2007-08-14. Retrieved 2007-07-10.
  2. "Trio of Nittany Lions Earn All-America Honors From The Sporting News". Penn State Intercollegiate Athletics. 2006-12-14. Retrieved 2007-07-10.
  3. "Tebow, McFadden top All-America team". FoxSports.com. Retrieved 2007-12-12.
  4. "Penn State's Connor captures Senior Bowl Under Armour Award". The Phanatic Magazine. 2008-01-27. Retrieved 2008-01-28.
  5. Fernandez, Bernard (2008-04-23). "Any team will do in NFL draft for Penn State linebacker Connor". Philadelphia Daily News. Archived from the original on July 24, 2008. Retrieved 2008-04-25.
  6. "Top 25 NFL Draft Candidates for 2008". SI.com. Retrieved 2007-08-14.
  7. Sam Ross, Jr. "PSU's Connor picked by Panthers, WVU's Slaton picked by Texans". Pittsburgh Tribune-Review. Retrieved 2008-04-27.
  8. Schrager, Josh (2008-09-23). "Knee injury ends Connor's season". The Philadelphia Inquirer. Archived from the original on September 24, 2008. Retrieved 2008-09-23.
  9. Yasinskas, Pat (2010-03-24). "Panthers turn down Connor trade talk". ESPN.com.
  10. Rosenthal, Gregg (March 11, 2013). "Dan Connor released on busy day for Dallas Cowboys". NFL.com. Retrieved 2013-03-11.
  11. D adds toughness with LB Dan Connor signing
  12. http://espn.go.com/new-york/nfl/story/_/id/9666511/dan-connor-new-york-giants-miss-remainder-season?ex_cid=espnapi_public
  13. "Dan Connor returning to Carolina". ESPN. November 13, 2013.
  14. "Dan Connor: From NFL to assistant's job at West Chester". Philadelphia Inquirer. September 12, 2014. Retrieved January 7, 2016.

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