this Feb. 22, 2014, file photo, Missouri defensive end
Michael Sam speaks during a news conference at the NFL
football scouting combine in Indianapolis. The Cowboys have
released Michael Sam from the practice squad, Tuesday, Oct.
21, 2014, another setback as the NFLís first openly gay
player tries to make an active roster during the regular
season for the first time.
IRVING, Texas ó
Michael Sam will have to wait for a third team to give the NFL's
first openly gay player a chance to appear in a regular-season
Cowboys released Sam from the practice squad Tuesday, dropping the
rush end as they prepare for several potential reinforcements to
return to the defensive line.
Sam spent seven
weeks with the Cowboys after joining their practice squad Sept. 3,
four days after he was among the final cuts by the St. Louis Rams
at the end of the preseason. He was never placed on the 53-man
The Rams drafted
the former SEC defensive player of the year from Missouri late in
the seventh round in May. He was pick No. 249 out of 256. Sam had
three sacks in the preseason with St. Louis playing mostly against
second- and third-stringers.
Sam thanked the
family of Cowboys owner Jerry Jones on Twitter, along with
"friends, family, teammates, and fans for their
is disappointing, I will take the lessons I learned here in Dallas
and continue to fight for an opportunity to prove that I can play
every Sunday," Sam wrote.
The signing of
Sam by the Cowboys brought an overflow crowd to coach Jason
Garrett's daily news conference, and he was surrounded by about
two dozen reporters in the only interview he conducted on the same
But he mostly
blended in after that, making occasional appearances in the locker
room when it was open to the media and earning praise from Garrett
and defensive coordinator and defensive line coach Rod Marinelli
the few times they were asked about him.
work every day and practices hard," Garrett said last week.
"One of 10 practice roster guys that we have, so he's working
on his skills, trying to develop, but also doing a lot of other
things. Playing offense, defense, playing the kicking game. That's
what a lot of those guys do."
Sam came out to
his Missouri teammates before his senior season, when he had 11
1/2 sacks. He told the rest of the world three months before the
May draft. After Sunday's 31-21 win over the New York Giants,
Cowboys owner Jerry Jones told USA Today that Sam's sexuality was
"a dead issue."
(6-1), off to their best start since they were 12-1 in 2007, are
playing their second straight NFC East opponent at home, with
Washington (2-5) visiting Monday night.
The Rams didn't
keep Sam because they had depth on the defensive front. The same
situation is developing for the Cowboys, who are among the
league's worst in sacks but have been getting solid production
with a rotation in the front four of a defense exceeding
Dallas has rookie
second-round pick DeMarcus Lawrence close to coming back after
breaking his right foot in training camp. He was placed on
short-term injured reserve and will be eligible to play next week
end Anthony Spencer gets stronger each week in his return from
microfracture knee surgery that sidelined him all but one game
Josh Brent, who is serving a 10-game suspension for his
intoxication manslaughter conviction in the 2012 death of teammate
Jerry Brown, returns to practice next week. He will be eligible to
play Nov. 23 at the Giants.
Sam, the Cowboys added linebacker Troy Davis of Central Florida
and defensive tackle Ken Bishop of Northern Illinois to their