Sam, the first openly gay player to be drafted into the National Football League, got his release from the Cowboys today,
The Dallas Morning News
reports. As a member of the practice squad and not the regular roster, he had not appeared in a game.
Sam was drafted by the St. Louis Rams in May and was cut in August. The Cowboys signed him to the practice squad September 3.
"Questions persisted about how the 6-foot-2, 261-pound Sam fit with the Cowboys," the
reports. The coaches weren't sure he could play defensive end "in a system that places tremendous emphasis on speed and explosiveness," the paper notes.
Sam recently defended his abilities, saying, "Did you not watch my preseason? Did it look like I was slow? Then I'm an end."
Sam, who was an All-American defensive lineman at the University of Missouri, will now "have to make his case with another club," the
This comes just after reports that Sam's sexual orientation
had been a nonissue
with the Cowboys, bearing out his wish to be judged only on his playing abilities and putting the lie to speculation that his being gay would be a "distraction."
Indeed, that still appears to be Sam's goal, judging by his tweets sent out immediately after the news of his cut broke:
\u201cI want to thank the Jones family and the entire Cowboys organization for this opportunity, as well as my friends, family, teammates, (1/3)\u201d