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Trey Lance will compete with Cooper Rush for QB2


IRVING, Texas — This offseason will determine the trajectory of Trey Lance’s future in the NFL, as the Dallas Cowboys give him a wonderful opportunity to prove he can, in fact, be an impact quarterback at the NFL level. A former third-overall pick landed in North Texas by way of a 2023 trade with the San Francisco 49ers, but was relegated to learning and developing as the season wore on.

That will not be the case this spring and summer, though.

When asked if the 23-year-old would officially be pitted in a head-to-head competition with longstanding incumbent Cooper Rush for the right to serve as QB2 behind Dak Prescott in 2024, owner and general manager Jerry Jones was unequivocal.

"Yes," he said, followed by a hard stop that left zero room for interpretation.

A former FCS champion with North Dakota State and MVP of that contest, Lance saw his option picked up by the Cowboys for the 2024 season at roughly $4 million, an expected move that is not to be confused with the fifth-year option for 2025 that would guarantee him more than $20 million.

While the Cowboys are in no way expected to pick up the latter, triggering the former promises he'll get a fair shot at potentially dethroning Rush — a mission former Cowboys' quarterback Will Grier (and others) have mostly failed to succeed at achieving.

Jones, along with head coach Mike McCarthy, both love what they're seeing from Lance in practices, however.

"The arrow is really up," Jones said. "He's exceeded expectations as a person and as a worker. He's got unique skills. He's very much what we had planned on, hoped, and when we gave the pick we knew we'd be paying the [2024 contract] bonus now. That was a part of the same decision.

"But that's been reinforced by what he's been with the team, the person."

That said, it's also true Lance, as mentioned above, hasn't seen a single in-game snap for the Cowboys as of yet — Rush being routinely sent in to relieve Prescott in the fourth quarter of several blowout victories.

So the evaluation process continues, but with a ton of preseason work ahead.

"The player, we don't know any more on the field from experience in games than when we brought him on; and that's his college and his time in San Francisco," Jones admitted. "We didn't get to see that, but what we do know is what he's been in practice. We don't know about his game experience, but we do know about his practicing and what he's done there — all pluses."

Lance has been hard at work soaking up as much as he can from McCarthy, Prescott, Rush and offensive coordinator Brian Schottenheimer over the last several months.

It's time to show the Cowboys what he's learned.

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