Cowboys quarterback is turning heads at OTAs, and it's not Dak Prescott

Dallas Cowboys Training Camp
Dallas Cowboys Training Camp / Jayne Kamin-Oncea/GettyImages

The Dallas Cowboys have once again dragged their feet with Dak Prescott's extension. While CeeDee Lamb is expected to sign a new deal first, everything the Cowboys have said regarding Prescott's future and looming free agency hints that an agreement will be reached before the 2024 season.

Despite that, there's a large contingent of Cowboys fans and NFL analysts who believe that Prescott could reach free agency.

Nothing about that would benefit Dallas. Not only would it leave the Cowboys without a starting-caliber quarterback, but Prescott would leave behind $40 million in dead money if he hasn't signed an extension by next March.

Despite his contract uncertainty, Prescott has led by example during OTAs. Of course, that's the expectation for a QB entering his eighth season. The real interest regarding the position this summer (other than Dak's contract) surrounds the battle for the backup job.

While it's way too early to say who's winning the QB2 competition, Trey Lance has been all the rage ahead of his second year in Dallas.

Cowboys QB Trey Lance has stolen the show at OTAs

Both Prescott and Mike McCarthy have spoken glowingly of Lance since the offseason program started. McCarthy revealed last week that the team altered Lance's throwing motion to improve his timing on routes. The small tweak is already paying off for the former third overall pick.

“Young quarterback comes into a new system, so you got the learning curve, but now starting to get the timing with the routes,” McCarthy said of Lance, via Pro Football Talk. “He’s close to being a master of the system. He has a really high understanding. He’s communicating very well. He looks more and more comfortable. He just needs reps. I know I say that every time I talk about him. He just needs as many reps as he can.”

The Cowboys are obviously high on Lance's potential. It's why they traded a 2024 fourth-round pick for him last August. The deal hasn't aged well, but his first season was about learning McCarthy's offense with the hope that he would supplant Cooper Rush as the backup this year.

Team reporters have taken note of Lance's renewed confidence. Lance himself has admitted to being in a different place "mentally, physically and spiritually" this offseason. Getting benched and then traded as a former top-three pick likely did a number on his mental.

Taking the 2023 season to sit back and learn under Prescott seems to have done wonders for Lance's future outlook. Whether that translates to a strong training camp and preseason remains to be seen, but the way McCarthy and Prescott have raved about Lance makes it seem like the 24-year-old won't be denied.

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