Michael Sam is the Kind of Football Player the Dallas Cowboys Need

Forget that He's Gay; The Mizzou Defensive End is a Steal

Yahoo Contributor Network
COMMENTARY | Let's get this out of the way now: Michael Sam should be commended for what he did.


It couldn't have been easy for Sam. It probably wasn't a walk in the park for Division III kicker Connor Mertens. There's a good chance it wasn't simple for Chandler Whitney, a baseball player from Walla Walla Community College. And it probably wasn't easy at first for LeQuan Chapman, a track member of Shippensburg University.

Each one of them are gay. Slowly, but surely, the LGBT community is becoming comfortable in the sports world. Sam becomes the biggest domino to fall; being the reigning SEC Defensive Player of the Year and one leader of many on a Missouri team that was a win away from being in the National Championship.

Michael Sam is gay, but he's one hell of an NFL Draft prospect that will be a mid-round gem for whomever drafts him.

And when the Dallas Cowboys are on the clock in the third or fourth rounds, and he's available, Jerry Jones should make the call.

Before going into the football analytics, this looks like a nightmare at first glance. The media frenzy in Dallas + the Dallas Cowboys in general + being on the most polarized team in pro sports = disaster waiting to happen. Are the Cowboys really prepared to take someone who has now grabbed the media's attention?

Of course, they are. They're the Dallas Cowboys. They want attention any way they can get it. But this is strictly from a football perspective.

The Cowboys desperately need depth at defensive end. George Selvie emerged as a force on the left side - replacing Anthony Spencer, who hardly saw the field in 2013 - and DeMarcus Ware had a rough season. Tyrone Crawford didn't see the field last year, either. Who do the Cowboys really have as a situational pass rusher that can make plays in the backfield when needed?

The list of names aren't long, and Sam would be an instant upgrade.

Also, to add on to that last statement, look who Sam would be learning under: One of the best pass rushers of this generation. Not only would Ware be a great teacher to Sam, but the Cowboys would finally have someone to put in for Ware when he needs rest. It's sad to say, but D-Ware isn't an every-down pass rusher anymore.

Rod Marinelli is now the defensive coordinator, which means he still coaches the defensive line, which also means his front four will still find ways to get to the quarterback. In a down year defensively for the SEC, Marinelli would gladly take a player who recorded 11.5 sacks his senior year.

He may not be like Kony Ealy, his teammate anchoring the opposite side of Mizzou's defensive line, but Sam has good agility and foot work. He's two inches shorter than Ware and Selvie, which is probably why he's considered a mid-round selection. At 6-foot-2, he can move. The question is, can he move against the bigger offensive tackles in the league? Marinelli would definitely find ways to make that happen.

This is the kind of analysis we should be hearing about from Sam. Instead, for this week and after the NFL Combine, we'll hear about him just being gay. But he's also a damn good football player, and the Cowboys should welcome him to the locker room if given the chance.

They'll also welcome the media frenzy, but I digress.

Danny Webster is a Yahoo Contributor for the Dallas Mavericks and Dallas Cowboys, as well as the Sports Editor for UNLV's student newspaper, The Rebel Yell. Reach him on Twitter @DannyWebster21.

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