Darren L. Benson (born August 25, 1974) is an American retired football defensive tackle in the National Football League for the Dallas Cowboys. He was selected by the Dallas Cowboys in the third round of the 1995 Supplemental Draft. He played college football at Trinity Valley Community College.
Early life and education
Benson attended Craigmont High School where he played as a defensive tackle. He accepted a football scholarship from Arkansas State University and although he attended classes, he never played a game because of grades.
In 1993, he transferred to Trinity Valley Community College, registering 82 tackles and 10 sacks, while contributing to a 10-1 team record. He played a key role in the undefeated (12-0) 1994 NJCA Championship team, posting 109 tackles, 20 tackles for loss and 21 sacks during the season.
The Dallas Cowboys thought Benson had the athletic potential to develop into a Leon Lett type player and selected him in the third-round (1st overall) of the 1995 Supplemental Draft, surrendering by rule an equivalent pick in the 1996 NFL Draft. As a 20-year-old rookie he was deactivated during the first half of the 1995 season, until injuries on the defensive line gave him a chance to have a reserve role throughout the second half of the season. Including pairing with Lett on the field goal rush team.
In 1996, he was having problems adjusting to the professional game and decided to quit the team during mini-camp. After he was convinced to return, he suffered torn anterior and medial collateral ligaments in his left knee during a practice and was placed on the injured reserve list on August 20. The next year ,he was deactivated in nine games and saw action in six.
In 1998, he was lost for the season in training camp, after suffering a torn anterior cruciate ligament in his right knee. He returned in 1999, but was released before the season started, finishing his career with 11 tackles.