Despite playing well in the preseason and recording some sacks, Michael Sam was released by the St. Louis Rams during the 53-man roster crunchdown after losing a spot to an even more impressive rookie in unheralded UDFA Ethan Westbrooks, who is most famous for his tattoo . Westbrooks’s emergence and the team’s depth on the defensive line contributed to Sam’s release, and he went unclaimed on waivers.
The Dallas Cowboys need help up front with Demarcus Lawrence on the short-term injured reserve, so they were looking at Sam as a possible practice squad candidate. Well, the Cowboys have officially added Sam to the practice squad today, though ESPN Dallas’s Todd Archer reports that Cowboys head coach Jason Garrett won’t make a special announcement for him. This is a good thing, because he’ll be treated like a regular practice squad player by the team, while the rest of us with a vested interest in seeing him succeed get to focus more on his story.
The media spotlight on Sam will be big anywhere, but it will shine the biggest in Dallas where just about every player is scrutinized in some way. Thus, it’s good to see that Garrett and the Cowboys won’t be drawing any more attention to this addition, though it will be interesting to see how Sam develops on their practice squad. If all goes well, then the tweener DE could become an effective rotational pass rusher, and he’s definitely worth a p-squad flier given his college and preseason success.