The Dallas Cowboys signed defensive end Michael Sam to their practice squad and he took the field with America’s Team on Wednesday.
“We felt like it was a good move for our football team right now,” head coach Jason Garrett said Wednesday.
Sam, a seventh-round pick in the 2014 NFL Draft out of Missouri who thrust himself into the spotlight after becoming the first NFL player to openly say he’s gay, was cut by the St. Louis Rams last weekend.
Garrett said Wednesday all reports the team got from St. Louis were positive, but he did not want to dwell on a practice squad move.
“Obviously he was a very good player in college, a co-defensive player of the year in maybe the best conference in college football, so his track record speaks for itself,” Garrett said. “We did not draft him, but like with a ton of players around this league, we evaluate these guys all throughout the preseason.”
Sam, a Hitchcock, Texas, native, took to Twitter later Wednesday.
“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,” Sam tweeted. “I want to thank the Jones family, the entire Cowboys organization, and the city of Dallas for giving me this opportunity.
“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!!”
Sam arrived in Dallas Tuesday night to take a physical.
The Cowboys’ defense gave up the most yards (6,645) in their history last season and the third most in NFL history.
Sam was not included on the Rams’ 10-player practice squad roster that was finalized Monday after final cuts to the 53-man roster limit last weekend.
“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 other guys back in on the practice squad or trying to add to our roster. We’re just trying to help our roster,” Garrett said.
According to ESPN, Sam has been assigned No. 46 with the Cowboys. This could complicate any potential jersey sales because Sam will not wear that number if he is activated to the Cowboys’ 53-man roster at any point.
Any team can sign Sam off the Cowboys’ practice squad but would have to put him on the 53-man roster for a minimum of four weeks. Practice squad players are paid $6,300 a week ($107,100 for a full season). If Sam is activated, his pay would jump to $24,706 a week.