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Former Dallas Cowboys DE Chris Canty signs with Giants

04:32 AM CST on Monday, March 2, 2009

By TODD ARCHER / The Dallas Morning News
tarcher@dallasnews.com / The Dallas Morning News

IRVING – The Cowboys figured they would lose defensive end Chris Canty in free agency, but they will see him at least twice a year now.

Canty signed a six-year, $42 million deal with the New York Giants on Sunday that included $17.25 million guaranteed, ending his four-year run with the Cowboys.

Dallas Cowboys defensive end Chris Canty, celebrating in a game against the Giants, chose to join the NFC East rival.

A fourth-round pick in 2005 largely because of a serious eye injury suffered before the draft, Canty started 50 games and had 197 tackles and 10 sacks. He will likely move to defensive tackle in the Giants' 4-3 system after playing end in the Cowboys' 3-4 scheme.

Canty's agent, Brad Blank, said he talked to the Cowboys Sunday, "but they were pretty limited in what they could do."

The Giants liked Canty's work against them over the years. In eight regular season games, Canty had 30 tackles, three sacks and six quarterback pressures. He had three tackles, a sack and a pressure in the playoff loss in 2007

"I'm excited about getting the opportunity to come here and be a part of this team and this organization," Canty told New York/New Jersey reporters. "The Giants have a great winning tradition, and I am excited to come here and have a chance to win a championship. I always get excited when I come up here to play."

Another member of the '05 draft class, linebacker Kevin Burnett, is scheduled to visit Oakland today, according to his agent, Ricky Lefft. Burnett's return is in question with the Cowboys' acquisition of veteran linebacker Keith Brooking, who signed a three-year deal worth $7.8 million and includes $2.5 million guaranteed.

Burnett finished with 38 tackles and a career-high two sacks while playing mostly in substitute packages in 2008. He also had 19 special teams' tackles, which was second on the team.

With Canty's departure, the Cowboys will look for third-year veterans Jason Hatcher and Stephen Bowen to pick up the slack. Defensive end figures to be one of the team's top needs in the draft if they do not pursue any available players in free agency.

Staff writer Calvin Watkins contributed to this report.

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