Dallas Cowboys release openly gay NFL player Michael Sam
By RYAN GORMAN
The Dallas Cowboys have released the NFL's first openly gay football player.
Michael Sam was let go from the Cowboys practice squad Tuesday, the team announced. It marks the second time a team cut ties with him this season.
Sam was originally drafted in the seventh round of this year's NFL Draft by the St. Louis Rams and cut before the season. He signed with the Cowboys only weeks later on September 3.
He spent the first seven weeks of the season on the 10-player practice squad without making the team's 53-man roster.
Sam appeared devastated at the Cowboys practice facility, but took to Twitter to thank the team for giving him an opportunity.
I want to thank the Jones family and the entire Cowboys organization for this opportunity, as well as my friends, family, teammates, (1/3)- Michael Sam (@MichaelSamNFL) October 21, 2014
and fans for their support. While this is disappointing, I will take the lessons I learned here in Dallas and continue to fight for an (2/3)- Michael Sam (@MichaelSamNFL) October 21, 2014
opportunity to prove that I can play every Sunday. (3/3)- Michael Sam (@MichaelSamNFL) October 21, 2014
Practice squad players often make team rosters. Pittsburgh Steelers superstar James Harrison spent team's 10-man reserve team during the 202 and 2003 seasons and was released three times.
The linebacker was then released by the Baltimore Ravens prior to the 2005 season, re-signed with the Steelers and finally established himself.
The knocks on Harrison were similar to those on Sam: Too small to be a defensive end, too slow to be a linebacker.
It is not clear where Sam, a former Mizzou standout, will play next or if any NFL teams are interested in signing him.
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