Michael Sam to sign with Cowboys

After a very productive preseason, Michael Sam found himself on the outside looking in at a talented Rams defense and without a job. The first openly gay player drafted into the NFL is going to have to wait to play in it. It had nothing to do with his sexuality and everything to do with the reality that he's not a special talent by NFL standards. That said, he's good enough to be in the league and we knew he wouldn't be without a job for long. The Cowboys made that wait less than a week.

Sam is flying to Dallas tonight to take a physical tomorrow and sign with the team's practice squad. Despite many people wanting this story to go away, it can't until it happens. There's still history to be made and there likely will be soon.

For all his flaws as a general manager, Jerry Jones is a phenomenal owner and someone who cares an incredible amount about the well being of the NFL. In this interview with "The Afternoon Show," Adam Schefter (who broke the news) doesn't rule out that could have played a factor in Jones bringing in Sam.



It simply looks bad for the NFL when Sam produced in the preseason and didn't make a roster. Not making the Rams roster is one thing. He lost out to a player who has position flex (for non-football types, that means he can play multiple positions while Sam plays only one spot) on a loaded defense and nobody can argue with that. Not making any roster is a little harder to comprehend. It just didn't look good. Jones knew that. Roger Goddell knew that. Schefter didn't exactly rule out the commissioner "suggesting" Jones make a move, perhaps even in return for the league not pursuing tampering charges against Jerry Jones for talking with Adrian Peterson this off-season.

With that said, it's also a football decision. The Cowboys need edge rushers. Sam is that. He had as many sacks as anyone this preseason. He can play. The Cowboys need players that can play. The question is when will he play and it might be more significant than you think, which is saying something for the history that it would mean.

Consider this tweet that astonishingly flew under the radar over the weekend from Yahoo! Shutdown Corner's Eric Edholm.


There won't be any added pressure on the Cowboys to add Sam to the active roster and play him, but there almost should be. Why? To get to the next guy. In order for this not to be news, we need it not to be significant. The first gay player in the NFL is significant and at this point, that player will be Michael Sam.

No other gay player is going to come out before Sam plays because Sam was the one who was brave enough to be the first. He was the one who answered all the questions and had to deal with all the attention (positive and negative) of being the first. Another player isn't going to swoop in and take the accomplishment.

With that in mind, Edholm's tweet is significant. Once Sam breaks the barrier, I fully expect others to come out as well. If you don't think there are gay players currently in the NFL, you're both naive and wrong.

Step one has to come before step two, so for now we wait on step one, and Michael Sam looks like he will take that step with the famed Cowboys star on his helmet.