Michael Sam finds a new home in Dallas, pending physical

Michael Sam is expected to join the Cowboys' practice squad Wednesday.

L.G. Patterson/AP

ST. LOUIS — Michael Sam didn’t have to wait long for a second chance to play in the NFL.

The Dallas Cowboys have invited the former Missouri defensive to join their practice squad, according to ESPN’s Adam Schefter. Sam will fly into Dallas on Tuesday and sign with the team Wednesday, pending a physical.

Despite a productive preseason with 11 tackles and three sacks, St. Louis cut the seventh-round draft pick on Saturday and subsequently elected not to keep him on its 10-man practice squad roster. But coach Jeff Fisher had high praise for Sam during a press conference Saturday afternoon and indicated he might be a good fit for a different team.

"I was pulling for Mike," Fisher told reporters. "I don’t say that very often, but Mike came in here and did everything that we asked him to do. He had well over 120, 130 snaps and was productive. But as we said on the front end of the whole … when we drafted Mike, on the front end, we mentioned this was going to be a tough road.

In the end, undrafted free agent Ethan Westbrooks beat out Sam for the final spot on the defensive line in what Fisher called purely "a football decision." He reiterated that all of the attention on Sam as the first openly gay player drafted in the NFL was never a distraction in the locker room or on the field.

If too much talent doomed Sam in St. Louis, where the Rams have some of the best defensive linemen and especially defensive ends in the league, he should have a much better opportunity in Dallas. The Cowboys ranked near the bottom of most statistical categories in 2013 and finished 26th with only 35 sacks, including just seven for top defensive end George Selvie.

Sam has not spoken to the media since getting cut, but he did thank the Rams and St. Louis fans for supporting him and giving him an opportunity on Twitter on Saturday afternoon. Other teammates, including defensive ends Chris Long and Robert Quinn, have also said Sam proved he could play in the NFL.

"The most worthwhile things in life rarely come easy, this is a lesson I’ve always known," Sam tweeted while in Columbia watching Missouri’s 38-18 win over South Dakota State. "The journey continues."

You can follow Luke Thompson on Twitter @FS_LukeT or email him at lukegthompson87@gmail.com.