The murky thinking behind the Trey Lance trade

Last August, seemingly out of nowhere, Jerry Jones apparently made a fairly big decision without consulting his HC: He traded a 4th round pick to the 49ers in exchange for the niners former first round QB Trey Lance, who the niners had clearly decided was a mistake. Approximately six months and an entire regular season later, a clear purpose for this trade is still somewhat unclear if not strange.

Trey Lance has yet to take a meaningful snap for the Cowboys and was never on the game day roster this past season. Last off-season, the Cowboys had signed backup QB Cooper Rush to a two year, $5,000,000 contract. Rush has one more year on that deal but it does have a fairly painless out if they choose to release him as an upcoming post June 1 cut.

Also in this mix of head scratchers is the fact that Lance goes into 2024 on the last year of his rookie deal before becoming an unrestricted FA.

So here are some of my questions about the Lance move:

  • What was the primary purpose for obtaining Trey Lance? (A successor to Dak, leverage against Dak in contract negotiations, future trade bait with other teams?)
  • Are the Cowboys following some kind of plan with him…or not?
  • How can the Cowboys know what they have in Lance if they hang on to Cooper Rush as the backup?

Here are some possible scenarios/answers to those questions:

  • A- Lance was obtained to give the Cowboys leverage and a possible replacement for Dak should the team decide to move on from Dak. (I don’t see how Lance could be much trade bait if he never sees the field here)
  • B- The plan is for Dak to be extended one more year, give time to develop Lance, then make him the starter in 2025. ???? If there’s a plan it’s not at all very clear.
  • C- The Cowboys somehow already know what they have (or don’t have in Lance) Or…they are going to find out in TC this year?

Honestly I would be fine moving on from Dak via a trade if this team was willing to do a rebuild similar to what the pack did with Jordan Love last year. The problems there would be 1. Jerry won’t do a “rebuild” and 2. We don’t know if Lance is good enough to hand the keys to the car yet.

So what is the plan for Trey Lance? Is this some grand 3 dimensional chess our GM is playing? Or is it a strange fantasy football move centered on throwing spaghetti on the wall and seeing what sticks? If there is some grand and brilliant plan here, I’m not seeing it.


Discuss this on CowboysZone (502 comments)

Site Footer