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Onetime Cowboys linebacker to become first former NFL player to marry same-sex partner

Former Dallas Cowboys linebacker Jeff Rohrer plans to marry Joshua Ross in a ceremony Sunday in Los Angeles. Rohrer will become first former NFL player to marry a same-sex partner. (Image source: Video screenshot)

Former Dallas Cowboys linebacker Jeff Rohrer will soon become the first former NFL player to marry his same-sex partner.

Rohrer, who played for the Cowboys from 1982-1989, plans to marry skin-care expert Joshua Ross on Sunday in a ceremony in Los Angeles, New York Times reported.

"I've given at least five people heart attacks with this news," Rohrer told the Times. "But for the most part, many of my closest friends, including some of my former teammates with the Cowboys, could not have been more happy and supportive."

Rohrer, 59, and Ross, 36, met three years ago at a tequila bar and soon became best friends. At the time, the former linebacker "was completely in the closet."

"And if not for Josh, I'd still be in there," Rohrer said.

What's the story?

In 1982, Rohrer was drafted by the Cowboys in the second round. He was the 53rd overall draft pick that year.

"If I had told the Dallas Cowboys in the 1980s that I was gay, I would have been cut immediately," he told the newspaper. "It was a different world back then, people didn't want to hear that."

Rohrer grew up in Inglewood, California, where he played high school football. After high school, he attended Yale University where he became an Ivy League football star.

Now, he's an accomplished producer of television commercials.

Rohrer's marriage to Ross will be his second. He has a 15-year-old daughter and a 14-year-old son from his first marriage, to a woman, that ended 10 years ago.

After meeting Ross, Rohrer decided to come out.

"I see this big, gregarious guy sitting there, though I wasn't sure if he was gay," Ross told the Times. "But once we started talking, I realized he was."

The pair started dating right away.

Ross, who grew up in Texas, founded SkinLab and is known to some as "aesthetician to the stars." Ross appeared on an episode of "The Real Housewives of Beverly Hills" last season when he gave facial treatments to the housewives.

What else?

Rohrer told the Times that the reason he waited so long to come out was that "being gay was just something that had no place during the course of my football life.

"But when I got divorced, I said the hell with it, I'm going to do what I've always wanted to do," he added. "Then I found Josh, and began to openly live the life I was born to live."

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