Cowboys Make Key Decision on Trey Lance’s Future: Report

Trey Lance

Getty The Dallas Cowboys are not expected to pick up Trey Lance's fifth-year option for 2025.

Trey Lance’s four-year, $34 million rookie contract expires at the end of the 2024 season, and the Dallas Cowboys face a decision on the quarterback’s future. Since Lance was a first-round pick, the Cowboys also have the chance to pick up Lance’s fifth-year option for 2025, potentially keeping the signal-caller in Dallas for the next two seasons beyond this year.

Yet, ESPN’s Todd Archer reported Dallas does not plan to pick up Lance’s fifth-year option but could explore signing the quarterback to a contract extension. As Lance’s cap hit continue to rise, the Cowboys will have to make some difficult decisions between the quarterback and Cooper Rush.

“The Cowboys assumed the final two years of Lance’s guaranteed rookie contract in the trade,” Archer detailed on October 4, 2023. “He is making $940,000 this season and is guaranteed $5.31 million in 2024. The Cowboys will not exercise the fifth-year option next spring on Lance for 2025, since that would cost more than $25 million, but they could work out a short-term extension for him if they like what they see in practice this season and in next year’s preseason.”

The Cowboys Could Move on From Cooper Rush in 2024

Much has been made about Dak Prescott’s future following the team’ acquisition of Lance, but it is Rush that could end up needing a new home after this season. Rush signed a two-year, $5 million contract last offseason that runs through 2024.

The quarterback is slated to have a $2.8 million cap hit next season, but the Cowboys have an out in the veteran’s deal. According to Spotrac, Dallas could release Rush and take just a $625,000 dead cap hit for the move.

The challenge is Lance has a $5.3 million cap hit for 2024, while Prescott has a whopping $59.4 million number for next season. This figure is likely to come down as the parties continue to discuss a potential contract extension.

“If there was a quarterback who it impacted more [by the Lance trade], it was Rush,” Archer detailed. “He went 4-1 as the starter last season after Prescott went down with a broken right thumb in the season opener. In the offseason, the Cowboys signed him to a two-year deal worth $5 million and included a $1.25 million signing bonus. Now he’ll have competition.”

Could the Dallas Cowboys Use Trey Lance in Negotiations With Dak Prescott?

The Cowboys are saying all the right things about Lance’s potential impact on Prescott’s future but a lot can change in two years. Dallas will have to finalize their decision on Lance’s fifth-year option heading into the 2024 season.

Prescott’s current four-year, $160 million contract also expires after next season. It will be interesting to see if Dallas could amp up the pressure on Prescott by using Lance’s presence in negotiations. For now, the Cowboys continue to emphasize that Prescott is the team’s franchise quarterback.

“Dak is the lead dog in our room there’s no question about that,” head coach Mike McCarthy said during a September 22 interview on “The Rich Eisen Show.” “Trey’s a young guy with a lot of talent that we’re going to have to continue to develop to fit our system. Just some of the things we ask him to do in our system.