FRISCO, Texas – The Dallas Cowboys made a surprising splash in the trade market on Friday evening when the team sent a fourth-round pick to the San Francisco 49ers in exchange for former No. 3 overall pick QB Trey Lance.
Owner and general manager Jerry Jones was on hand at the Jerry Jones Classic high school football game on Saturday morning to discuss the thought-process in trading for the former North Dakota State star, as he sees it as an intriguing opportunity to develop a player that he still sees a bright future for in Dallas.
"Well he gives us an opportunity to – at a level that we probably had never gone in the draft – to work and develop a young quarterback," Jones said. "And, you need to be doing that."
The call to San Francisco was swift on Friday as Jones communicated that the front office was aggressive in going after Lance. While the move puts a young quarterback behind Dak Prescott, Jones says this in no way affects his belief in his QB1.
"We hit this and figuratively didn't even get them off the phone, because we wanted him to get him in here," he said. "Not in any way to be confused that we're not betting on our success on Dak. We just need to, the Dallas Cowboys, where we can, be developing the best that we can develop for the future for quarterbacks."
Reports surfaced on Friday night that the front office had a healthy view of Lance during the draft process, and it carried over to wanting to bring him in with this window of opportunity.
"His athletic ability, his arm strength," Jones said about what stood out in the draft process. "And frankly, we knew he hadn't played a lot of football relative to – let's say – what Dak had played in college. But he's very athletic and he can, in my mind, really do both – be a threat at running and throwing."
Speaking of Prescott, Jones is excited about what he can do for Lance moving forward as a mentor in the quarterback room.
"[Prescott] is just – in terms of what a quarterback is about – that No. 1 is somebody that the team will follow," Jones said. "He's the best I've ever seen or heard about. And just to hang out in that company will be a great asset to [Lance]."
The Cowboys have prided themselves as of late in being a "draft-and-develop" franchise, and the unique opportunity to bring in Lance after his limited experience could serve as its own unique extension of that philosophy.
"Well, first of all, he got some great reps and some great time with an outstanding coach down in San Francisco," Jones said. "That's going to serve him well. Those guys are great coaches and they know what they're doing. He comes in well-advanced in my mind, where he was when he was drafted."
"We'll give him that kind of exposure with our coaches. Main thing is, our quarterback room, with the best leader I ever saw with Dak Prescott, will give him every chance to be the quarterback that he's got the potential of being."