The Dallas Cowboys have signed Michael Sam to their practice squad, ESPN reported Wednesday, after Sam, who is seeking to become the first openly gay player to play in the NFL, passed a physical sometime Wednesday.
Cowboys coach Jason Garrett said that signing Sam is “a good move for our football team right now.”
"We're bringing a player in we wanted to see on the practice field and got nothing but good reports about him from our people and the people in St. Louis," Garrett added. "We just want to give him a chance to come in and see if he can help our football team."
Sam, a Texas native, took to Twitter later on Wednesday to say that joining the Cowboys “is really a dream come true.” He also thanked the Jones family and the Cowboys’ organization as a whole for “giving him this opportunity.”
Garrett emphasized that he did not think Sam would be a distraction in the locker room, saying, “I think we've probably talked too much about [Sam being a distraction to his teammates]. He's a practice-squad player we're going to bring in here to try to give an opportunity to help our football team."
Sam was among the final group of players released by the St. Louis Rams this past weekend, before being signed to the Dallas Cowboys’ practice squad.
"One of the things that he got caught up in St. Louis is that they have a really good defensive line," Garrett said. "They have allocated a lot of resources to that in recent years. Our reports were that he played fairly well, but 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 other guys back in on the practice squad or trying to add to our roster. We're just trying to help our roster."