Sports

Sam’s 2nd Chance Comes on Cowboys’ Practice Squad

St. Louis Rams defensive end Michael Sam (96) looks up at the scoreboard from the sidelines during the first half of an NFL preseason football game against the Miami Dolphins, Thursday, Aug. 28, 2014 in Miami Gardens, Fla. The Dolphins defeated the Rams 14-13. (AP Photo/Lynne Sladky)
St. Louis Rams defensive end Michael Sam (96) looks up at the scoreboard from the sidelines during the first half of an NFL preseason football game against the Miami Dolphins, Thursday, Aug. 28, 2014 in Miami Gardens, Fla. The Dolphins defeated the Rams 14-13. (AP Photo/Lynne Sladky)

SCHUYLER DIXON, AP Sports Writer

IRVING, Texas (AP) — Michael Sam’s second chance will be with the Dallas Cowboys.

Coach Jason Garrett said Wednesday that the league’s first openly gay player will be added to the practice roster.

“We just want to give him a chance to come in and help our football team,” Garrett said. “That’s where our attention is (football). What people say outside the organization is up to them.”

The Cowboys, who are seeking help with their pass rush because of injuries and the offseason release of franchise sacks leader DeMarcus Ware, added Sam four days after he was released by St. Louis when teams had to cut rosters to 53 players.

Sam isn’t likely to be on the active roster for Sunday’s opener against San Francisco.

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.

Being on the Dallas roster means Sam is returning to his home state. He was a lightly regarded recruit out of Hitchcock, Texas, a town of about 7,000 along the Gulf Coast about 40 miles southeast of Houston. His first two years at Missouri, Sam backed up Aldon Smith and Jacquies Smith, both of whom are in the NFL.

The Cowboys didn’t have Sam on their draft board, with owner Jerry Jones saying his size and skill set had him caught between defensive end and outside linebacker. Dallas passed on him with three of five seventh-round picks before the Rams got him at No. 249 out of 256 selections.

But Dallas heads into the opener with serious questions about its defensive line after giving up the most yards in the NFL last year — and third-most in league history.

Defensive end George Selvie, who might miss the opener with a shoulder injury, is the only Dallas lineman who had more than two sacks last year.

Tackle Terrell McClain, one of the key free agent signings, is likely out with a sprained ankle. The other major free agent pickup, tackle Henry Melton, missed all the preseason games with a groin injury. He hasn’t played since tearing a knee ligament with Chicago in Week 3 last year.

Rookie DeMarcus Lawrence, who was drafted in the second round with the hope that he could at least partially fill Ware’s void, can’t play until after the eighth game. He’s on short-term injured reserve with a broken right foot.

Sam, the SEC defensive player of the year with 11 1/2 sacks at Missouri last season, couldn’t crack a St. Louis roster that was stocked with proven pass rushers. But he also lost out to Ethan Westbrooks, the Rams’ top target among undrafted rookies.

Sam had three sacks, one more than Westbrook. But most of the preseason, he was playing with the second- and third-stringers. Westbrooks was the Division II defensive player of the year when he had 19 1-2 sacks for West Texas A&M.

After coming out as gay to his Missouri teammates before his senior season, Sam told the rest of the world about three months before the May draft.

___

Online:

AP NFL website: www.pro32.ap.org and www.twitter.com/AP_NFL

___

Follow Schuyler Dixon on Twitter at https://twitter.com/apschuyler

Copyright 2014 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

Tags
Show More

Related Articles

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *


By submitting this form, you are consenting to receive marketing emails from: Washington Informer Newspaper, 3117 Martin Luther King Jr. Ave SE, Washington, DC, 20032, http://www.washingtoninformer.com. You can revoke your consent to receive emails at any time by using the SafeUnsubscribe® link, found at the bottom of every email. Emails are serviced by Constant Contact

Back to top button

My News Matters to me - Washington Informer Donations

Be a Part of The Washington Informer Legacy

A donation of your choice empowers our journalists to continue the work to better inform, educate and empower you through technology and resources that you use.

Click Here Today to Support Black Press and be a part of the Legacy!

Subscribe today for free and be the first to have news and information delivered directly to your inbox.


By submitting this form, you are consenting to receive marketing emails from: Washington Informer Newspaper, 3117 Martin Luther King Jr. Ave SE, Washington, DC, 20032, http://www.washingtoninformer.com. You can revoke your consent to receive emails at any time by using the SafeUnsubscribe® link, found at the bottom of every email. Emails are serviced by Constant Contact
Close

Adblock Detected

Please consider supporting us by disabling your ad blocker