The Dallas Cowboys have signed Michael Sam to their practice squad.
“We felt like it was a good move for our football team right now,” Head Coach Jason Garrett explained. “I don’t like to talk about who’s on our board and who’s off our board, but obviously he was a very good player in college. His track record speaks for itself.”
Sam had flown to Dallas on Tuesday night and underwent a physical examination on Wednesday morning. He can begin practicing with the team immediately.
The St. Louis seventh-round pick replaces the Dallas seventh-round pick on the Cowboys practice squad. With a weak crop of defensive ends in the wake of injuries and DeMarcus Ware’s signing with Denver, Dallas offers Sam opportunities that he simply did not enjoy in St. Louis. Despite boasting three sacks in the preseason, Sam received his walking papers from a defensive-line loaded Rams team. In the Big D, the openly-gay rookie figures to make a legitimate run at game-day playing time.
Though Dallas, unlike every other team in the NFL, keeps its merchandising sales, the team assigned Sam #46–a jersey that he will not wear if activated on game day. The move undermines crititicism that financial rather than football considerations prompted the signing.