EAST RUTHERFORD — The New York Giants signed middle linebacker Dan Connor on Saturday.

Connor can play both inside and outside, but prefers the inside so his signing means that New York probably won’t bring back middle linebacker Chase Blackburn, who is a free agent.

Connor started five games at middle linebacker for Dallas last season, making 56 tackles. He also started three games at weakside linebacker. He played his first four seasons with the Carolina Panthers.

“Being able stay in the same division is great,” said Connor, released by the Cowboys on Monday. “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.”

Connor has played in 56 career games with 27 starts. He has 222 tackles, a sack, a forced fumble and a fumble recovery.

Connor set a Penn State record with 419 career tackles in 45 games (37 starts). He also had 14 sacks and four interceptions.