Sam joins the Dallas Cowboys

Michael Sam has joined the Dallas Cowboys practice squad after being released by the St Louis Rams.

Sam, who is hoping to become the first openly gay player to make a National Football League team, was released by the Rams on Saturday as they trimmed their squad to the 53-player roster limit.

The 24-year-old defensive end, who made three quarterback sacks and 11 tackles in his four pre-season appearances with the Rams, joins the Cowboys hoping to win a place in the team for the new season.

The Cowboys, who face San Francisco at home on Sunday in their season opener, have released linebacker Will Smith from their squad to make room for Sam.

"He has a chance to come in and compete for a spot at a position where we have had a need since the start of training camp," Cowboys coach Jason Garrett said.

"The way we view the practice roster is your job is to help facilitate practice, but it's also a great opportunity for us to develop and evaluate personnel. "We're bringing a player in we want to see on the practice field. We got nothing but good reports about him from people in St. Louis and we want to give him a chance to come in and help our football team."

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