Yesterday the Giants brought back an old friend and let go of another one.
Craig Dahl broke into the NFL in 2007 as an undrafted free agent with with eventual Super Bowl champion Giants. He played in 9 games in 2007 primarily as a reserve and special teamer but played very well in 2 starts as he filled in for an injured Gibril Wilson at strong safety.
Stevie Brown who was just brought back last week and had an interception in his only pre-season work with the Giants was promptly released to clear room for Dahl, an 8 year NFL veteran.
Dec 28, 2014; Santa Clara, CA, USA; San Francisco 49ers strong safety Craig Dahl (43) intercepts the ball from Arizona Cardinals quarterback Ryan Lindley (14, not pictured) during the fourth quarter at Levi
Dahl is very familiar with the Giants defensive system under defensive coordinator Steve Spagnuolo. His first five years in the NFL were under Spagnuolo, 2 with the Giants when Spagnuolo was the defensive coordinator and 3 in St.Louis where Spags was the head coach. Dahl is a real lunch pail kind of guy. Really hard worker, tough, smart, but not overly athletic.
Dahl will play and likely excel on special teams if he is not plugged into a starting safety role immediately. I’ve always liked Dahl, his return to the Giants gives them an experienced leader for the young safeties. He is a strong tackler and plays better against the run then the pass but is by no means a liability when the ball in in the air.
Dahl has played in 102 games in the NFl with 43 starts. Most of his starting experience was during his time as a St. Louis Ram (2009-2012) but he was a part of an excellent San Francisco 49er defense for the last couple of seasons.
I think this has the potential to be a very good acquisition by the Giants on the heels of some questionable moves to get their roster to 53 men.
Dahl’s numbers are not mind blowing, primarily due to the fact he has been a reserve for the majority of his career but he has 357 tackles, 5 interceptions, 3 sacks, 3 fored fumbles, and 3 fumbles recovered to his name.
Dahl was injured before the Giants went on their run to Super Bowl 42 so he gained no playoff experience then and he missed the entire 2008 season. He did however go on a deep run into the playoffs with the 49ers in 2013 until they fell to the Seattle Sehawks in the NFC Championship game.
As for Stevie Brown he will be looking for a new job for the second time in a week.