Cowboys’ Jerry Jones Drops Major Hint on QB Trey Lance’s Future

Dallas Cowboys QB Trey Lance

Getty Dallas Cowboys QB Trey Lance

The Dallas Cowboys have things to figure out at quarterback, including how they move forward with QB Trey Lance. Dak Prescott may be the team’s franchise QB, but Lance is seemingly in limbo as the 2024 offseason begins.

The former North Dakota State star has two years remaining on his rookie contract. But in terms of releasing or trading him, Cowboys owner Jerry Jones seems far removed from the idea.

“Cowboys owner Jerry Jones said the ‘arrow is really up’ on backup QB Trey Lance,” Dallas Morning News reporter Michael Gehlken posted on X on March 1. “’He’s exceeded expectations as a person, as a worker.’ Lance to compete with Cooper Rush for No. 2 job behind Dak Prescott. ‘He’s very much what we had planned on, hoped when we gave the pick.'”

Lance hasn’t had much of an opportunity in Dallas, so it’s interesting that Jones is so high on him. As a former No. 3 overall pick, Lance clearly has talent and potential but has just 4 starts to his name since entering the league in 2021.

Someone like Lance as a backup is a great thing to have, but the one issue is cost. With the fourth year of his rookie deal set to give him a significant salary increase, Dallas will be paying a premium for a backup with Lance.

Trey Lance’s Contract Situation

When the Cowboys traded for Lance last offseason, they took him on knowing that he’d be a pricey developmental option. The San Francisco 49ers had found their QB in Brock Purdy and Lance’s first-round rookie deal factored in, so Dallas was able to acquire Lance for just a fourth-round pick.

According to Spotrac, the Cowboys will be paying Lance a total of $5.3 million in 2024. Considering his contract only counted toward a $940,000 cap hit in 2023, that is a sizable increase.

And considering the Cowboys are projected to be $4 million over the salary cap, it matters even more. Dallas will have to take multiple steps in order to get their books in order, and Lance’s $5.3 million cap hit is a big chunk for a backup QB.

And while Dallas is seemingly high on Lance, a recent report says that they aren’t planning on taking up his contract’s fifth-year option.

Cowboys Out on 2025 Option

Like all first-round rookie contracts, the fifth-year option for Lance’s deal features a gargantuan salary. Lance would be due $22.4 million if the Cowboys triggered the option going into 2025. It’s an eye-watering number, but don’t plan on it happening.

According to Dallas Morning News reporter Calvin Watkins, the Cowboys have no plans to take the option. That doesn’t necessarily mean Lance isn’t the team’s plans for the future, but they don’t want to pay that option.

From there, it will all come down to Lance. He can either test the free agency market in 2025 or see about a new, cheaper deal with the Cowboys. Considering they are willing to pay him $5.3 million this season, Jerry Jones has offered an early olive branch if a new deal comes up.