The Dallas Cowboys have waived defensive end Michael Sam from their practice squad.
Sam, the first openly gay player in the NFL, was signed to the team's practice squad Sept. 3. He never made it to the Cowboys' active roster.
I want to thank the Jones family and the entire Cowboys organization for this opportunity, as well as my friends, family, teammates 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 opportunity to prove that I can play every Sunday.
Sam made history and received national attention in the spring when he announced he was gay several weeks before the NFL combine. As the reigning SEC co-defensive player of the year at Missouri, Sam became the highest-profile active gay football player and sought to become the first gay player to be selected in the NFL Draft.
The St. Louis Rams picked Sam in the seventh round of this year's draft and kept him on their roster until the last round of cuts at the end of training camp. He was picked up by the Cowboys several days later.
At the time of Sam's signing, Cowboys owner Jerry Jones said Sam "had a long way to go" as a player while dismissing concerns that the rookie could be a potential distraction in the locker room due to his sexuality, echoing the sentiments of Rams coach Jeff Fisher from when Sam was with St. Louis.
Jones said Sunday that Sam's sexual orientation was "a dead issue."
Sam is now free to sign with any other team or join any other team's practice squad. The CFL could also be an option, as Sam reportedly received interest from the Montreal Alouettes before he joined the Cowboys' practice squad.
- Ben Estes