Michael Sam Joins America’s Team

by Dish Staff

He snagged a spot on the Cowboys’ practice squad. Sam Laird approves:

Why the Cowboys are an ideal fit for Sam’s quest to build an NFL career is simple: They suck, especially on defense. If Sam is going to work his way from a practice squad to a regular 53-man roster, Dallas is as good a place as any to do so. Their defensive line is full of holes, and the loss of highly touted rookie DeMarcus Lawrence for at least six weeks creates another. Lawrence’s replacement, Jack Crawford, is no great shakes either, having been cut by the lowly Oakland Raiders just last week.

Other reasons to cheer the news:

You don’t get much more #America than Dallas, a red state where the steak is rare, the whiskey’s strong and the dudes sure as hell don’t kiss other dudes. The Cowboys are even nicknamed “America’s Team,” for crying out loud. … [H]aving America’s first gay NFL player in the middle of conservative Texas, on America’s Team, amid the league’s brightest media spotlight is pretty amazing.

Jay Caspian Kang also sees the logic of the move:

In many ways, Dallas is a perfect fit—the team has enough problems to be too worried about a practice-squad player. Aside from the on-field problems—and there are many—owner Jerry Jones has become a big-tent circus unto himself, with an alleged tampering scandal involving Adrian Peterson, of the Vikings, and a set of leaked photos—which are, frankly, bizarre—that showed Jones cavorting with two younger women. The Cowboys are a big-tent show, and if Sam indeed has a circus around him, it shouldn’t be more than a sideshow.

But Scott Shackford points out that Sam could get cut again:

Whether he eventually gets elevated to the roster and actually take to the field of a game, or even lasts on the practice squad, is a whole other question. For those who want to read the technical analysis of how Sam does and doesn’t fit in NFL play with only minor emphasis on Sam’s pioneering identity, ESPN’s Kevin Seifert has some explanations here.

Recent Dish on Sam losing his spot on the Rams here. Update from a reader:

While the Dallas Cowboys marketing team has done a great job of trying to brand them as “America’s Team,” the rest of the country hasn’t seen fit to go along with it. The most recent polling data seems to indicate they are the most hated team in the league.


In your post, Sam Laird writes, “You don’t get much more #America than Dallas, a red state where the steak is rare, the whiskey’s strong and the dudes sure as hell don’t kiss other dudes.” Gracefully, I would like to protest. As a resident of Dallas I like rare steaks and strong whiskey. But, I sure as hell like to kiss other dudes. There’s a saying of what Texas is really like: “Nothing but steers and queers.”