It’s Take 2 for Michael Sam, as the NFL’s first openly gay player has been signed to the practice squad of the Dallas Cowboys.
“We just want to give him a chance to come in and help our football team,” Dallas Coach Jason Garrett said of Sam, who was released by St. Louis on Saturday in the final round of roster cuts. “That's where our attention is [football]. What people say outside the organization is up to them.”
Sam, who isn’t likely to be on Dallas’ 53-man roster for Sunday’s opener against San Francisco, joins a team that is glaringly lacking pass rushers both because of multiple injuries and the loss of franchise sacks leader DeMarcus Ware, now in Denver.
Regarded by most NFL teams as too small to be a base defensive end and too slow to be an effective outside linebacker, Sam was passed over until the end of the draft, when the Rams used a compensatory pick to take him with eight selections remaining.
Sam, the SEC co-defensive player of the year at Missouri last season, had three sacks in four exhibition games for the Rams, who are loaded with talented defensive linemen. He was edged out for a roster spot by defensive lineman Ethan Westbrooks, an undrafted rookie.
Sam arrived in Dallas on Tuesday night for his physical exam with the Cowboys.
“It has all happened so quickly, but it's exciting, I just want to get back to playing football, you know,” Sam said Tuesday night, according to ESPN.com. “I haven't had a chance to speak to any of my family yet, not even my mom, but I will. I never followed the Cowboys growing up because I never had a team. I am a fan of defenses and Dallas needs some help, that's why I'm going.”
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