When Cam Fleming hit the open market as a free agent, there were so many connections between the offensive tackle and the Giants that it just made too much sense for a deal not to happen.
Originally a fourth-round draft pick of the New England Patriots in 2014, Fleming spent two seasons with the Dallas Cowboys after leaving the Pats before signing a one-year deal with the Giants on March 18.
Along the way, Fleming played for three current members of the Giants' coaching staff -- head coach Joe Judge, offensive coordinator Jason Garrett, and offensive line coach Marc Colombo -- and his relationship with that trio played a huge role in him signing with Big Blue.
"I think it played a pretty big factor when I was deciding to come here," Fleming said on a conference call Thursday. "I think that when you see two people that you worked closely with for two years (Garrett and Colombo) and they get another job and they want you to come with them, it says they have some kind of confidence about your play, your attitude and all that stuff."
"I really like playing for (Colombo) because he really does love what he does," Fleming also said. "He comes in with so much energy, so much juice every single day, week after week throughout the whole season. I don't think there is ever a lull in it for him. I really appreciate his passion and electricity every day. He's just a damn good coach. He helped me a lot with my technique in Dallas and I look forward to continuing working with him."
As for Judge, Fleming didn't work as directly with him as he did with his former Dallas coaches, but he still knows exactly what the Giants head coach brings to the table.
"I'm glad to see he's our head coach," Fleming said of Judge. "I know him probably not as well as some of the special teamers in New England did, but we definitely interacted. He's a really great dude, brings a lot of intensity. I'm excited to have him."
The 27-year-old Stanford product played a valuable role for Dallas the last two seasons, starting six games while playing in a total of 28, contributing on special teams and filling in when O-line starters went down with injuries.
Over the course of his six-year career, Fleming has played both guard and tackle, but for now, it appears that he'll likely slide into the Giants' starting lineup at right tackle, as last year's starter Mike Remmers has since signed with Kansas City.
With Dallas, Fleming was part of an offensive line considered by many as the best in the NFL -- one that paved the way for Ezekiel Elliott to lead the league in rushing in 2018, when Elliott scampered for 1,434 yards on the ground.
Now, Fleming will look to bring that same level of play to this Giants line that has had its struggles over the past few seasons, but he also wants to make sure the Giants develop their own identity.
"It's hard to say what exactly (Garrett and Colombo) teach that makes (Dallas' line) so good. I think one of their best attributes is teaching that mentality," said Fleming. "In those offenses, the offensive line is a little bit more revered. Some of the best players on the Dallas Cowboys are on the O-line. You feel a little bit more of the weight on your back as an offensive lineman. Hopefully we can bring that here and carry a whole bunch of weight for the Giants as well.
"We definitely want to form our own identity of the Giants and build a culture that brings success. But we don't want to, for lack of a better term, copy what they're doing in Dallas. There are definitely elements that you can pick out from every team in the league, but you definitely have to build your own identity as the Giants."