Dallas Cowboys owner Jerry Jones surprised many in the NFL by trading for San Francisco 49ers quarterback Trey Lance. A deal that would seemingly be a long-term move for Dallas naturally raised questions about Dak Prescott’s future with the Cowboys.
Prescott is still under contract through 2024, but many have believed a contract extension will eventually be necessary. Entering his age-30 season, Prescott only has a $26.832 million cap hit this season, but it jumops to nearly $60 million in 2024.
- Dak Prescott contract: $26.832 million cap hit in 2023, $59.44 million cap hit in ’24
With Tony Pollard on a one-year deal and Micah Parsons headed for an extension that makes him one of the highest-paid NFL players, Dallas needs cap flexibility. However, acquiring Lance led many to speculate that Dallas could be creating an alternative for the future where the former No. 3 overall pick could replace Prescott as the Cowboys’ starting quarterback.
Speaking to reporters on Friday, Jones made it clear that the decision to trade for Lance had no influence and will not influence the team’s interest in extending Prescott’s contract.
“It didn’t cross my mind, period, about an impact here regarding Dak. I know Dak wants us to do anything we can do to improve this team. We’re going to do it.”Dallas Cowboys owner Jerry Jones on the Trey Lance trade influencing Dak Prescott contract talks
It’s unlikely that Jones is being deceptive. He previously revealed to reporters that he pulled the trigger on the trade without talking to Prescott or head coach Mike McCarthy. It’s a revelation that a majority of NFL owners wouldn’t want out there, but Jones was forthcoming with his process.
Instead, Dallas viewed this as a buy-low opportunity. NFL teams agreed that Lance was a premium quarterback prospect in the 2021 NFL Draft. Unfortunately, due to injuries and the 49ers’ Super Bowl aspirations, he never had an opportunity to develop and improve with reps.
Lance still won’t receive the opportunities he needs in Dallas, likely serving as the third-string quarterback behind Prescott and proven backup quarterback Cooper Rush. With that said, McCarthy’s background in quarterback development can be beneficial and a change of scenery is exactly what Lance needed.
The most likely outcome is that Lance won’t reach his ceiling in Dallas and the Cowboys will move on from him within two years. However, he’s a high-upside quarterback in a league where teams often pay a premium for the position. The Cowboys will likely extend Prescott’s contract within the next 10 months and hope Lance develops into a trade asset they can flip for premium draft capital.