After learning this weekend that he will not be signed to the St. Louis Rams’ 53-man roster nor the team’s practice squad, Michael Sam may have an unlikely home this season in Arlington, Texas. According to ESPN’s Adam Schefter, the Dallas Cowboys, who ranked worst overall on defense last year, have confirmed they will sign Sam to their practice squad pending a physical.
Dallas could certainly use help from the former SEC Defensive Player of the Year. Last year, America’s Team logged just 34 sacks on the season, and Sam’s strength and ability to anticipate the snap make him a threatening force in the opposing backfield.
Nevertheless, the Lone Star State has a notorious reputation for homophobia. Gov. Rick Perry has been an outspoken opponent of marriage equality and caught heat earlier this year when he compared homosexuality to alcoholism, in that both are genetic predispositions that can be thwarted through the power of will. In June the Texas Republican Party announced its endorsement of reparative therapy for “patients who are seeking escape from the homosexual lifestyle.” Texas attorney general Greg Abbott is currently appealing two cases from earlier this year that found Texas’s ban on same-sex marriage to be unconstitutional.
Dallas owner Jerry Jones is no stranger to media attention, with flashy play, big egos, and an even bigger stadium to show for his legacy. After purchasing the team in the late ’80s, Jones helped the Cowboys become a veritable dynasty during the mid-1990s. In recent years, however, the team has been a beacon of mediocrity, having gone 8-8 in the past three regular seasons.
When he was growing up in Texas, the Cowboys were Sam’s favorite team, according to Outsports.com.