STANFORD, Calif. - Ben Gardner was selected by the Dallas Cowboys with the 231st overall pick of the 2014 NFL Draft.
Gardner is the sixth Cardinal drafted in 2014, tying a program-best.
With the 231st pick in the 2014 NFL Draft the Dallas Cowboys select Ben Gardner DE - Stanford #CowboysDraft— Dallas Cowboys (@dallascowboys) May 10, 2014
"Today was such a long day, but I couldn't be happier to be in Dallas with the Cowboys," Gardner said. "I truly believe it's a great fit and I can't wait to get to work. Thanks to everyone for their support, and go Cowboys!"
The first Cardinal defensive lineman selected since 2011, Gardner, a seventh-round choice, leaves Stanford with a degree in science, technology and society.
COWBOYS BABAYYYYY!!! Time to get to work— Ben Gardner (@BennyG49) May 10, 2014
A native of Mequon, Wis., Gardner played in nine games as a fifth-year senior. He recorded 19 tackles (seven solo), 7.5 tackles for loss, 4.5 sacks and one blocked punt.
The Stanford team captain garnered All-Pac-12 first team honors in addition to being named Sporting News All-Pac-12 and Phil Steele All-Pac-12 third team. He started the season on watch lists for the Bednarik, Bronko Nagurski and Rotary Lombardi Awards, and was ESPN.com’s preseason 25th-best player in the Pac-12.
Gardner was recognized with Stanford’s Most Outstanding Senior Award.
As a senior in 2012, Gardner started all 14 games at defensive end for one of the nation’s top defenses and finished with 49 tackles (27 solo), 14.5 tackles for loss, 7.5 sacks, one forced fumble and one fumble recovery. He ranked among the nation’s top-75 in tackles for loss (64th) and sacks (71st). After starting the season on the Lombardi Award watch list, he was named to the All-Pac-12 second team and Pac-12 All-Academic second team. He was honored as the Pac-12 Defensive Player of the Week following a six-tackle (3.5 for loss) and one-sack performance against USC.
Gardner started 12 or 13 games at defensive end as a junior. He notched 35 tackles, 10.0 tackles for loss and 4.5 sacks on the season. He was tabbed All-Pac-12 second team and Deswarte-Eller Award winner, honoring the most outstanding redshirt sophomore.
As a sophomore, Gardner played in 11 games on special teams and as a reserve defensive end. He recorded three tackles (one solo) against Wake Forest.