Former St. Louis Rams rookie Michael Sam was signed to the Dallas Cowboys practice squad on Wednesday. Sam, 24, was cut by the Rams on Saturday after ESPN aired a controversial piece detailing his shower habits.
"I'm excited to be joining Dallas. I just want to play football, it's great to be heading back to my home state," said Sam, who grew up in Galveston, Texas, about 4 hours drive from Dallas. "It's been a roller coaster this past week but I'm happy where I'm at now. I'm just looking forward to being a Cowboy, my focus is on making the team."
Practice squad players don't travel with the team. And they earn the league minimum salary. But any NFL team can sign them to a contract during the regular season.
Still, Sam is the most famous practice squad player in the NFL.
Cowboys head coach Jason Garrett doesn't believe Sam will be a distraction to the team -- this despite word that Oprah has dispatched a production crew to Dallas. Prior to the start of the preseason Oprah shelved plans for a reality TV show starring Sam.
"This is about football," said Coach Garrett, who has yet to experience the daily harassment from the media and gay groups. "We evaluated him as a football player and felt like he can help us as a football player. We want to see what he can do. But our attention and focus is on football, it's on getting ready for the 49ers and that's the culture we have around here and that's the culture we'll continue to have."
The Cowboys take on the San Francisco 49ers in their season opener on Sunday. Dallas plays Sam's former team -- the St. Louis Rams -- in week 3.
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