The Dallas Cowboys have signed free agent rookie defensive end Michael Sam to the practice squad.
Just a few days ago, Sam was released by the St. Louis Rams, and has been a huge story ever since entering his name into the NFL Draft. He is the first openly gay player that has ever been drafted by an NFL team, and has received quite a bit of criticism and support from different fans and media.
But now that the Cowboys have swapped him up, how will he end up fitting in with the team?
Quite simply, he showed during preseason action that he has the potential to play in the league at some point in the very near future. Sam recorded 11 tackles and three sacks with the Rams during the preseason, and was very effective whenever his number was called. Sam’s stats did come against second, and sometimes third-team offensive lines, but they are still quality outings, and he proved capable of being an NFL pass rusher.
Dallas has had one of the worst defenses in the league for a few years now, and desperately needs help in the pass rushing area. After allowing former defensive franchise player DeMarcus Ware to walk this past offseason, they could use a young player to help bring positive attention to their defense. That being said, it will be interesting to see what type of role Sam has this year.
Needless to say, he has the potential to step up if he’s given the chance. There are some issues left in his game, and Sam needs to put on some more weight in order to power through starting offensive lines. Those issues are very real, but he has a great attitude and work ethic, and has proved doubters wrong at every level that he has played at.
Jerry Jones has been notorious for giving players a chance that most teams wouldn’t due to media exposure. Sam had interest from several other teams, but very similar to Tim Tebow’s situation, they were unwilling to risk negative reaction from publicity. There’s, obviously, been reaction from multiple analysts, but for the most part, they are happy to see a team give Sam a chance to prove himself.
When everything is said-and-done, the Cowboys are going to be very happy with what they see from Sam. He won the Rams’ coaching staff over, and even had Jeff Fisher making comments about rooting for him.
Sam’s work ethic and attitude towards the game will get him a long ways, and this opportunity is exactly what he needed to get his career going.