It took a little longer than he expected, but Michael Sam is grateful for a chance to find a professional home in his home state. And during his first day on the Dallas Cowboys practice squad, separate in-person greetings from quarterback Tony Romo and tight end Jason Witten left Sam heartened. Their message? "Hey, welcome. Now let's get to work."

Signing the NFL's first openly gay player to their practice squad created an attention-grabbing headline, which isn't anything new for a franchise that doesn't exactly run from the spotlight. But it was very much business as usual here. And for the players and coach, that was the point.