Former Golden Eagle Tim Benford to make NFL debut Monday night

Former Golden Eagle Tim Benford to make NFL debut Monday night

OAKLAND, Calif. -- After a stellar career at Tennessee Tech, former wide receiver Tim Benford will have his moment to shine on a national stage. The Dallas Cowboy rookie will join his team in Oakland to face the Raiders Monday night at 7 CST.

The game can be seen on ESPN and heard on Sirius channels 88 and 93.

The 2011 Ohio Valley Conference player of the year is fighting for a spot on the Cowboys' roster and has made a splash in camp. Dallas owner Jerry Jones has even recognized Benford's efforts, noting him as one of the players who has stood out in the preseason drills.

According to multiple sources, Benford will likely try his hand at returning kicks and punts in the Cowboy's preseason game Monday. 

In the Cowboys' Blue-White scrimmage, Benford made an athletic touchdown catch from Kyle Orton despite being double-teamed by a pair of experienced defensive backs in CJ Wilson and Brodney Pool.

His stock is rising among Cowboys' bloggers, who give analysis such as:

This is the undrafted guy that blew by Claiborne in his first day of camp which caused me to ask, who? If you don't know his name yet, you just might soon because Benford had himself a mighty good scrimmage. He caught a couple TD passes and made a real nice catch on the sideline late in the scrimmage too. Benford is getting noticed. -

Tim Benford. If you haven't taken notice, have a seat. Benford has everything it takes to be a legitimate option as a slot receiver. -

Here's a quick look back at Benford's career donning the purple and gold:

Benford is only the fourth wide receiver to earn the OVC Offensive Player of the Year award and first since 2003 (Efrem Hill of Samford). He also becomes just the second Tennessee Tech player to earn the award and first since running back Larry Schreiber received the honor in 1969. One of the top wide receivers in OVC history, Benford hauled in 58 catches for 826 yards and five touchdowns in 10 games in 2011, despite being consistently double and tripled teamed in games. He ranks 22nd nationally in receptions/game (5.80), 26th in receiving yards/game (82.6) and 29th in total receiving yards (826). Four times this season he had 100 or more yards in a game, including against Tennessee State when he had 10 receptions for 122 yards. He also had six catches for 131 yards and two scores against Maryville College, eight catches for 124 yards at Eastern Illinois and six catches for 116 yards and a touchdown against Murray State. His play helped Tennessee Tech to its first OVC Championship since the 1975 season and its first-ever NCAA playoff berth. For his career Benford has 210 catches for 3,007 yards, both of which rank third in OVC history. Benford also earned All-OVC first-team honors for the third-straight season, after being named OVC Freshman of the Year in 2008.