Ex-Cowboys LB Jeff Rohrer Comes out as Gay; Set to Marry Partner Joshua Ross

Joseph Zucker@@JosephZuckerFeatured ColumnistNovember 14, 2018

A Dallas Cowboys helmet is seen on the field before an NFL football game against the New York Giants at MetLife Stadium in East Rutherford, NJ, Sunday, Dec. 10, 2017. (Winslow Townson/AP Images for Panini)
Winslow Townson/Associated Press

Former Dallas Cowboys linebacker Jeff Rohrer publicly came out as gay in an interview with Outsports' Cyd Zeigler published on Wednesday. 

According to Zeigler, Rohrer will marry his partner, Joshua Ross, on Sunday in Southern California. The two have been together for over two years.

Rohrer spent six seasons with the Cowboys, appearing in 83 games between 1982 and 1987.

Rohrer told Zeigler he hadn't felt comfortable coming out earlier in his life, including when the Cowboys selected him in the second round of the 1982 draft.

"Living with my family in that [Southern California] community, it was not acceptable," he said. "That was not part of the plan, and it wasn't going to happen. When I went to Yale, it was the same thing there. And then I got drafted by the Cowboys. What am I going to do, come out then?"

Rohrer did, however, concur with Michael Irvin's assessment during a 2011 interview with Out magazine that the Cowboys he played on would've welcomed an openly gay player on the team.

"I would agree with Michael," Rohrer said. "The generation before him, I would say that’s true as well. I’m not sure about the Cowboy leadership, but the team, knowing the guys and especially how they have reacted to me so far, they wouldn’t have cared."

Michael Sam became the first openly gay player selected in the NFL draft in 2014. Sam announced in February 2014 he was gay, and the St. Louis Rams made him a seventh-round pick two months later.

The Rams released Sam before he played in a regular season game and he was briefly a member of the Cowboys' practice squad before they cut him as well.