ARLINGTON, TX - JANUARY 03: Michael Sam #52 of the Missouri Tigers reacts after Ben Grogan #19 of the Oklahoma State Cowboys misses a 34-yard field goal in the second quarter during the AT&T Cotton Bowl on January 3, 2014 in Arlington, Texas. (Photo by Ronald Martinez/Getty Images)
Michael Sam, the reigning SEC Defensive Player of the Year, hopes to become the first openly gay football player to be drafted by the NFL. And by his credentials and talent, alone, it seems he should be.
But since Sam came out over the weekend, there have been a few NFL GMs say anonymously they wouldn't draft an openly gay player and former players like Patrick Crayton saying the end is near for the NFL machine if he's drafted, as ridiculous as that thought is.
Dallas Cowboys vice president Stephen Jones has now said he and the Cowboys are on board with Sam as a potential player in this spring's draft, where he's projected to go somewhere between the third and fifth rounds as a pass-rush specialist.
Jones told the Star-Telegram via text message on Wednesday that the former Missouri standout's sexual orientation would have no impact on his draft status with the Cowboys, who Jones said would welcome Sam with open arms in the locker room.
And Sam is a potential target of the Cowboys after he racked up 11 1/2 sacks last season in leading Missouri to the SEC title game and a Cotton Bowl win over Oklahoma State. The Cowboys are in desperate need of pass-rushers, and DeMarcus Ware's recent surgery further prooves that point.