Jerry Jones got himself caught up with his scandalous photos that leaked over the summer. Now, he's getting props for welcoming Michael Sam into the Cowboys practice squad. The team may have gotten a bit of a nudge to do so, though.

Stephen A. Smith said on First Take that his sources informed him that the NFL encouraged teams to take a chance and sign Sam. You can remove the skill vs. because-he's-gay-argument here; Smith says the league did so because it wanted to support the movement Sam represents.

“According to sources I have in the NFL, the league did call a few teams. They did want teams to take Michael Sam because obviously we see what kind of movement they’re gearing for, and what they’re support of Michael Sam, who we all know, came out, acknowledged he was gay before the draft and ultimately something Roger Goodell and the NFL supports and they want their teams to support," Smith said. "But other teams weren’t too receptive to taking him on once the St. Louis Rams cut him."

The move is a good look for a league that's been working on changing its image over the past few years. But it's also problematic. Support is fine, but it can unintentionally gives pessimists' claims of tokenism more standing.

The Sam story isn't going to rest anytime soon, but at least the NFL has his back.

[via Black Sports Online]