Wednesday, September 3, 2014
Michael Sam's arrival met with shrug
By Todd Archer
IRVING, Texas -- Tony Romo introduced himself to Michael Sam on Wednesday and had a quick message for the newest member of the Dallas Cowboys' practice squad member: Let's get to work.
Jason Witten, "came to me and say pretty much the same things, so it's just about football and they want to win."
Sam, who is the first openly gay player in professional football, practiced for the first time with the Cowboys on Wednesday after signing with the team in the morning.
The only accommodation the Cowboys made to Sam's arrival was to have him speak to the media outside the locker room considering the large media contingent on hand.
The reaction of the Cowboys' players to same was mostly the same.
"I'm going to view him as I view any other guy in this locker room," wide receiver Dez Bryant said. "He deserves respect. I don't judge a book by its cover. He's a football player, and I'm not going to look at him any different. I expect that from everybody in the locker room. It is what it is. We're going to go play football."
Said running back DeMarco Murray, "Didn't have a reaction, just like my reaction when they sign other practice squad guys. It's not a big deal. If he's here to help us win, then treat him like any other guy. Doesn't matter."
Coach Jason Garrett addressed the signing with the team before practice. Jason Witten, one of the Cowboys' captains, does not expect there to be any negative fallout from the signing of Sam.
"I do think we have really good leadership, guys who have been through a lot and learned a lot through that and just level-headed and just are committed," Witten said. "I think this is a group of guys that are completely committed to this team and doing everything we can and that starts with coach Garrett. But it flows through the leaders and everybody else on the team that have to follow that. I don't really see that being any distraction. And I think everybody understands it's just in hopes of making our football team better. That's all we can try to do, for all of us."