Jul 29, 2014; St. Louis, MO, USA; St. Louis Rams defensive lineman Michael Sam (96) addresses the press after practice at Rams Park. Mandatory Credit: Scott Rovak-USA TODAY Sports

Michael Sam To Join The Dallas Cowboys; What Changed?

At first, the Dallas Cowboys seemed uninterested in the 2013 co-SEC Defensive Player of the Year. Even if their defense is in critical need of playmakers, rookie defense end Michael Sam wasn’t initially seen as a good fit in Dallas. Now, it appears he is.

According to ESPN NFL Analyst Adam Schefter, Sam will be in Dallas on Wednesday for a physical. If he’s cleared, Sam will then be added to the Cowboys practice squad.

What most fans already knew, the Cowboys seemed to only now have realized. Dallas needs defensive help. The rumor has been Sam, who was a seventh round pick by the St. Louis Rams earlier this year, wasn’t even in the Cowboys draft plans. According to Bryan Broaddus of DallasCowboys.com, he wasn’t even on their draft board.

Seen as more of a “tweener” (neither linebacker or defensive end), Sam wasn’t seen as a good fit in Dallas’ 4-3 defensive scheme. But now, something has apparently changed. And it probably has a lot to do with how thin the team is at defensive end. Penciled-in starters Anthony Spencer and George Selvie are currently injured. And 2014 second round draft pick DeMarcus Lawrence suffered a broken foot back in July that could keep him sidelined until November.

And then, there is the extra media attention. Obviously, having the national spotlight on you as a team by placing the first-openly gay professional football player on your roster must be a consideration. And surely, Sam has lost many other NFL opportunities simply because they don’t want any distractions.

But Dallas put the “D” in Distraction. In fact, Cowboys owner and general manager Jerry Jones all but welcomes it. And the headline needy Jones should love this: Sam’s Rams jersey is currently the sixth highest selling jersey in the league according to NFLShop.com.

Regardless, the Cowboys desperately need edge rushers. And Sam could be the answer. In four preseason games with the Rams, he recorded 11 tackles and three sacks. In his senior year at Missouri, Sam racked up 48 total tackles, 19 tackles for a loss and 11.5 sacks.

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