IRVING, Texas -- The Dallas Cowboys released defensive end Michael Sam from the practice squad Tuesday, another setback as the NFL's first openly gay player tries to make an active roster during the regular season for the first time.
Team officials disputed speculation that the Cowboys signed Sam strictly for publicity. Head coach Jason Garrett told CBS Dallas the move was made strictly for football reasons.
"We feel like he has a chance to come in and compete for a spot," Garrett said in September. "We got nothing but good reports about him. This is about football. We evaluated him as a football player. Our attention is on football."
Sam thanked the Cowboys organization on Twitter on Tuesday, vowing to work towards continuing his career in the NFL.
The Rams drafted the former SEC defensive player of the year from Missouri late in the seventh round in May. He was pick No. 249 out of 256. Sam had three sacks in the preseason with St. Louis playing mostly against second- and third-stringers.
After the Rams cut Sam, the general manager of the Canadian Football League's Montreal Alouettes, Jim Popp, said the team reached out to Sam.
In July, Sam received the Arthur Ashe courage award at the ESPY awards.