Ben Gardner becomes first Cowboys draft pick to sign


In Jaws, a character named Ben Gardner has an unfortunate run-in with the titular shark but the real-life defensive end with that name is faring better.

Gardner earned conference honors after each of his final three seasons at Stanford, performances that helped him get drafted by the Cowboys this year. Gardner was a seventh-round pick, which may be near the end of the draft but is still better than being shark bait.

Now Gardner’s got some money in his pocket as well. Field Yates of reports that Gardner has agreed to a four-year contract with the Cowboys that will put him into the mix for a spot on a Cowboys defensive line that’s in flux after DeMarcus Ware and Jason Hatcher departed in free agency. If Gardner earns a spot, it will likely be because of his skills stopping the run.

With Gardner in the fold, the Cowboys now have eight other picks to sign to get their entire draft class under contract.