Michael Sam was caught in a numbers game, owner Jerry Jones said Friday, which is why the Cowboys released the defensive end from the practice squad earlier this week.
“Michael was an outstanding look in practice in that he was very, active and worked, very, very hard,” Jones said on his weekly radio show on KRLD-FM. “On the other hand, we actually had as many as 15 defensive linemen. Normally, at most, you might be dealing with 10 or 11, so we had long numbers at the defensive line [position], and of course, that’s what Michael Sam is. It’s just a question of we had guys coming back like we’ve had this week with [DeMarcus] Lawrence, got two or three others who are taking snaps. On the come here, you’ve got Josh Brent. All that happening, you just have to have a spot, and that was the best thing for the team relative to all of the other things that a practice squad player does.”
Amobi Okoye, who is on the reserve/non-football illness list, began practicing this week. Lawrence, who is on returnable injured reserve, also is practicing and could make his season debut as early as next week. Brent can play his first game Week 11 after serving a 10-game suspension.
The Cowboys signed Sam on Sept. 3 after the Rams released him. He spent seven games on the team’s practice squad.
Sam is the first openly gay player to be drafted by the NFL.