Cowboys would need to open spot for Michael Sam

IRVING, Texas -- Before Michael Sam can join the Dallas Cowboys' practice squad the team would have to open a spot on the 10-player unit.

The Cowboys filled their final two spots on Tuesday by adding tackle John Wetzel and safety Jemea Thomas to the practice squad after they were released from the active roster on Monday.

The life on the practice squad is as close as you can come to playing in the NFL without playing in a real game.

The players practice with the team during the week, but they don't play. For home games, they stand on the sidelines as spectators, but they do not travel with the team to away games, unless there are special circumstances.

The rookie minimum salary this year for a player on the active roster is $420,000. A practice squad player will make at least $107,100 for the season, although teams are able to play them more if they choose.

The Cowboys' current 10-player practice squad consists of: Wetzel, Thomas, wide receiver Tim Benford, linebacker Will Smith, linebacker Keith Smith, defensive end Kenneth Boatright, center Ronald Patrick, defensive back Micah Pellerin, fullback Nikita Whitlock and running back Ryan Williams.

Through the years, the Cowboys have made frequent use of the practice squad in terms of calling guys up to the active roster or running guys in or out of the practice squad. Other teams can also poach them off practice squads but have to keep the player on the active roster for three weeks.