Cowboys Exec Sounds off on Trey Lance as Dak Prescott Decision Looms

Cowboys backup quarterback Trey Lance

Getty Cowboys backup quarterback Trey Lance

While the primary goal of this offseason for the Cowboys appears to be tightening the belts so as to find money to pay the star trio of Dak Prescott, CeeDee Lamb and Micah Parsons, an offshoot of that could well be for the Cowboys front office to convince Cowboys Nation—and perhaps themselves—that the team would be just fine if it let Prescott walk in free agency next year. Hey, we’ve still got Trey Lance.

The Cowboys, of course, swapped a fourth-round pick to the 49ers for Lance last offseason when it was clear that Lance was not going to win the starter or backup jobs in San Francisco. For Dallas, though, Lance remains a former No. 3 pick who is just 23 years old and gives the Cowboys a bit of leverage in contract talks with Prescott, who is in the final year of his deal and slated to make $55 million.

The talks with Prescott have hardly even gotten underway yet. The Cowboys are expected to play hardball.

Cowboys executive VP Stephen Jones was asked about Lance on the K&C Masterpiece show on 150.3 in Dallas this week and gave him a ringing endorsement.

“He just exhibits everything you would think a Top 5, Top 10 pick would exhibit, which is what he was in the draft and which is why we gave up a significant draft pick to get him,” Jones said.

Trey Lance Has Shown ‘Work Ethic’

Lance, at least, has exhibited those traits in practice. The rest of us would not know, since he has not appeared in an NFL game since September 2022, when he fractured his ankle, an injury that kept him out for the year.

Certainly, main attraction the Cowboys are selling on Lance is the talent he showed ahead of the NFL draft in 2021. Lance has had just an eight-game career sample, too small to make a judgment. Lance has 797 career passing yards, and rushed for 235 yards on 54 carries (4.4 avg.) in eight career games.

But Jones said he’s seen Lance’s work ethic in action.

“What you look for in a quarterback is, the work ethic is a must to be successful in this league. It’s a very demanding position,” he said.

“Trey exhibits similar-type work ethic (as Dak Prescott). Obviously, Trey is a really good athlete, in terms of being able to move around and his athletic ability. And finally, the most important thing is his arm. He’s got a very live arm, very strong arm. He continues to improve with his footwork and his accuracy which is what you expect from a young guy coming into the league.”

Cowboys’ Stephen Jones: Team Is ‘Excited’ About Options

The question about Lance arose from a discussion about next week’s draft, where the Cowboys will have the No. 24 pick in the first round, as well as No. 56 in the second round, and No. 87 in the third round. The Cowboys have a fifth-rounder, a sixth-rounder and two sevenths.

Jones was asked whether the team would take a quarterback if he was the best player available, even with a packed room that has Prescott, Cooper Rush and Lance on board.

“It’s hard to get out front right now and say what might be there,” Jones said. “But certainly, we’ll go through all the different possibilities that may happen as we move into next week. Obviously, we have been hard at work getting our board put up and really getting everything sorted out the right way. Next week is a big week for us in terms of the what-ifs.

“We do, feel great at (quarterback) with Dak and our acquisition of Trey last year. Trey has done nothing but excite us even more as he has worked here all of last season and then in the offseason, in terms of his work ethic and skill level. We’re very pleased with (him).”

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