Dan Connor reacts to Carolina GM getting fired

IRVING, Texas -- Cowboys linebacker Dan Connor was the Carolina Panthers' third-round pick in the 2008 draft and he played there four seasons, making 19 starts before leaving in the offseason.

The man who drafted Connor, general manager Marty Hurney, was fired from that position on Monday.

"That's tough, Marty is a great guy and a great GM," Connor said. "I have a ton of respect for him. It's a tough situation they're in right now. They've been in so many close games and they came up short but it’s a talented team. Coach (Ron) Rivera is a great leader, (defensive coordinator Sean) McDermott does a great job with the defense. It's hard, it's a competitive (league), just trying to stay employed, it’s a stress all its own. My heart goes out to Marty."

Carolina is a mess. Currently this team is 1-5 and quarterback Cam Newton is calling reporters sweetheart and asking for a suggestion box to fix the offense.

What might have been a low point for the Panthers were the number of empty seats at kickoff for Sunday's game against the Cowboys and how many fans were cheering for the visitors.

"There were a ton of Cowboys fans there, I was shocked," Connor said. "Usually you sit on the bench and the crowd cheers during an away game and you think ‘Oh man, something bad happened.' But it's the Cowboys doing something but that was an adjustment that was different and that's how this place has been. It's so high profile (Cowboys have) such a large fan base. When we get to the hotel, there is somebody waiting and it wasn't like that in Carolina."