Michael Sam has found a new NFL home. The Dallas Cowboys announced on Wednesday that they have signed Sam, the first openly gay player ever to be drafted into the NFL, to their 10-man practice squad.
Cowboys sign DE Michael Sam to practice squad. http://t.co/4iekcaK2km
— Dallas Cowboys (@dallascowboys) September 3, 2014
Cowboys head coach Jason Garrett addressed the signing at his regularly-scheduled press conference.
"We feel like he has a chance to come in at a position that we tried to address early throughout the offseason, throughout training camp, and compete for a spot," Garrett said. "We're bringing a player in we want to see on the practice field. We got nothing but good reports about him from people in St. Louis and we just want to give him a chance to come in see if he can help our football team."
Not long after the press conference, Sam thanked Cowboys owner Jerry Jones and the organization on Twitter.
As a kid growing up in Texas I always loved the Dallas Cowboys, so to join this incredible organization is really a dream come true. (1/3)
I want to thank the Jones family, the entire Cowboys organization, and the city of Dallas for giving me this opportunity. (2/3)
I look forward to putting my helmet and pads on every day to work my hardest to help bring a sixth Super Bowl Championship to Dallas!! (3/3)
The 2013 SEC Co-Defensive Player of the Year, Sam was selected by the St. Louis Rams with the 249th pick in the seventh round of the 2014 draft. But after a solid preseason performance, the Rams left Sam off of their final 53-man roster and their practice squad. A couple of days after becoming a free agent, the Cowboys brought in the first-team All-American defensive lineman from the University of Missouri for a physical. He passed it on Wednesday morning.
"His track record speaks for himself. We did not draft him but like a ton of players around this league, we evaluate these guys all throughout the preseason," said Garrett. "One of the things that he got caught up in St. Louis is that they have a really good defensive line. They allocated a lot of resources to that in recent years. So our reports were that he played fairly well, it was going to be hard for him to make that team, that he handled himself well on the practice field, worked hard and all of that. So we put all of that stuff together and we felt like it was a good move for our football team right now. Not any different than bringing a number of the other guys back in on the practice squad."