Former Cowboys linebacker Jeff Rohrer played for Dallas from 1982–1987. 

By Charlotte Carroll
November 15, 2018

Former Dallas Cowboys linebacker Jeff Rohrer will become the first known NFL player part of a same-sex marriage when he weds Joshua Ross on Sunday, reports The New York Times' Vincent M. Mallozzi.

Rohrer, who is now an award-winning producer of television commercials, played for Dallas from 1982–1987. He was drafted as the No. 53 overall pick out of Yale in 1982. He was previously married to a woman with whom he shares two teenage children. 

In the story for The New York Times', Rohrer opened up about his sexuality for the first time.

"I'm sure there’s going to be some people out there who have a negative reaction to this," Rohrer said, according to the Times, "and I’m fine with it."

The 59-year-old Rohrer said that although times have changed, telling people the truth wasn't always easy, but close friends have been supportive. 

"If I had told the Dallas Cowboys in the 1980s that I was gay, I would have been cut immediately," Rohrer said. "It was a different world back then, people didn’t want to hear that."

According to SB Nation, there were only seven previously known gay NFL players in league history. Four others played preseason, but never appeared in an NFL game.

The couple met three years ago at a bar and became best friends. Ross, a skin-care expert and aesthetician, told the Times he didn't know for months that Rohrer was a former NFL player.

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