All signs point to Dak Prescott being under center for the Dallas Cowboys next season. How the rotation unfolds behind Prescott remains a mystery, however. Cooper Rush has been a steadying force behind Prescott, but the Cowboys have a big decision to make on Trey Lance.
Lance is entering the final year of his rookie contract, meaning a decision will have to be made on his looming fifth-year option. That will likely be declined unless Lance, whom the Cowboys traded a 2024 fourth-round pick for in August, shows substantial growth this year.
Due to the timing of the trade, Lance essentially redshirted in 2023. Some folks are speculating whether Dallas should trade Cooper Rush (to save cap space) and promote Lance as Prescott's backup.
After all, what good is a lottery ticket if you never find out its true worth? What seemingly everyone can agree on, though, is that the Cowboys would be silly to deal Lance. His value has arguably never been lower. The folks over at Bleacher Report would agree, but that's what makes their Lance-centered trade idea so baffling.
Bleacher Report pitches deranged Trey Lance trade for Cowboys
Jerry Jones has approved some head-scratching trades as Cowboys owner (we're still drying our Amari Cooper tears), but not even he would sanction this. Is it possible Lance is a complete bust and Dallas ultimately takes a loss relative to what they gave up to acquire him? Of course, but this would essentially be waving the white flag before giving Lance a real chance to prove himself.
It's unlikely, but there's a world in which Lance replaces Prescott as the starter. That wouldn't happen sooner than 2025, but it's not fully out of the realm of possibility. Can you not envision the Cowboys failing in the playoffs again next year and embracing a mini rebuild?
It's possible that Prescott, Tyron Smith and Zack Martin all leave in that scenario, which would open the door for Lance to start under center.
Again, it's unlikely not but unfathomable.
There's also the fact that the Cowboys ideally would deal Lance out of the conference. There are numerous teams around the NFL that could use a development quarterback. As far as the AFC is concerned, the Jets, Chiefs, Raiders and Broncos all come to mind. Why give the Rams, a potential roadblock to a Super Bowl, a potential get-out-of-jail free card behind Matthew Stafford?
There's so much wrong with this trade proposal. The only positive is that the Cowboys would attain another 2024 draft pick. They're already short on picks from the Lance and Brandin Cooks trade, but Dallas' (so far) nightmarish 2023 draft doesn't exactly have fans clamoring for draft picks.
There's obviously a world in which the Cowboys end up trading Lance, but Jerry Jones is as stubborn as they come. He was applauded for buying a lottery ticket at a minimal cost. There's no way he takes a loss on that investment before giving it a chance to blossom.