Of course it was the Cowboys who want to hire defensive end Michael Sam.
Dallas not only doesn't run from headlines, it embraces them. So the Cowboys' decision to add Sam to the practice squad, and the attention that will come from having the man trying to be the NFL's first openly gay player, is a perfect fit.
Sam will sign with the Cowboys practice squad if he passes a physical, NFL Network's Ian Rapoport said.
Michael Sam flies in to Dallas tonight, source says. He’ll take a physical. If he passes, he will join their practice squad.— Ian Rapoport (@RapSheet) September 2, 2014
In some ways it's a much better landing spot for Sam than St. Louis, which drafted him in the seventh round but cut him and didn't add him to its practice squad.
Signing Sam to the practice squad isn't just about the Cowboys craving attention. The Cowboys need defensive help and are much thinner on the defensive line than the Rams, who have plenty of defensive ends. That's why Sam didn't make the team despite a good preseason that included 2.5 sacks.
Rapoport also said the Cowboys spent time calling players to gauge their reaction, and presumably they got a positive answer. The idea that Sam's presence is some crazy distraction is one of the dumber and weirder narratives in a long time. Sam is a great story, trying to make history, but he has been relatively quiet since being drafted. Hordes of media didn't show up at Rams camp asking Sam every day what it was like to be a gay football player. Logically, that was never going to be the case. And Dallas is used to all kinds of media attention, because owner Jerry Jones likes it that way. Besides, NFL players are not that fragile. Someone asking a teammate questions doesn't upset them on The Serious Mission of Preparing For An NFL Game. It's not that big of a deal. It's definitely not a negative in any way.
There will be some attention on Sam in Dallas right away, then it will die down like it did in St. Louis. At least until the Cowboys call him up to the 53-man roster, if they do. And Sam probably has a better chance at realizing that goal in his new home, assuming he signs as planned.
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