COPY-Michael Sam signed to Cowboys practice squad

Head Coach Jason Garrett confirmed the team signed Michael Sam to the Dallas Cowboys practice squad during a news conference on Wednesday.

"We evaluated him as football player and he felt like he could help us as football player," Garrett said.

Sam was chosen in the seventh-round out of Missouri by St. Louis. He seeks to become the first openly gay athlete to play in the NFL. He will join the team for practice immediately.

The defensive lineman was cut by the Rams on Saturday and cleared waivers on Sunday, allowing him to be signed by any NFL team.

When questioned about how Sam and the team will adjust, Garrett said that the team is focused on playing the San Francisco 49ers on Sunday.

"Our attention and focus is on football. That's the culture we have around here and that's the culture we'll continue to have," Garrett said.

Sam was recruited at Missouri out of Hitchcock, TX, a small town near Galveston. He backed up future NFL players Aldon Smith and Jacquies Smith his first two years at Mizzou. He came out publicly after his final season at Missouri, though he had come out to his teammates before the season began. Missouri tied the school record for wins with 12 and won the SEC East. Sam finished the year with 11.5 sacks.

At one point, Sam's Rams jersey was the No. 2 seller among rookies online, trailing only Cleveland's Johnny Manziel, and Sam was among just 10 draftees selected by the NFL to be featured on commemorative coins. Sam headed to the ESPY Awards to pick up the Arthur Ashe Courage award. He got a hug from Hall of Famer Jim Brown on his way to the stage and fought back tears throughout his speech.

During his speech at the ESPYs, he told the crowd, "Great things can happen when you have the courage to be yourself."

Copyright 2014 KLTV. All rights reserved. The Associated Press contributed to this report.