Michael Sam had the sixth-highest-selling jersey in the NFL this offseason when training camps began. But if you’re looking for the Cowboys to cash in on that craze now that the NFL's first openly gay player has joined the team, you'll be surprised.
Sam is one of 10 players on the Cowboys practice squad. The club doesn’t mass produce jerseys for practice squad players, and a club official said Wednesday they won’t make an exception for the No. 46 jersey Sam is now wearing.
So you won't find any.
NFL rules strictly limit the jersey numbers that can be worn by position players, Sam almost certainly wouldn’t wear a No. 46 if he was called up to the Cowboys’ 53-man roster. The NFL rule book states that defensive linemen can only wear numbers between 50-79 or 90-99. Numbers in the 40s are reserved for running backs, H-backs or defensive backs.
A quick glance at the Cowboys roster shows that there were plenty of available numbers that would have fit with Sam’s position. And that has theorists buzzing about the reasons behind the No. 46.
On Outsports.com, Cyd Zeigler noted that 1946 was the year the NFL and MLB broke their color barriers, though he cautioned that this was only a “subtle connection.”
So, unless you want to go out and get a customized version of Sam's new No. 46 Cowboys jersey, you may want to wait a little while longer.