ARLINGTON, Texas -- The Dallas Cowboys 2023 offseason was quiet... too quiet. There is almost always something going on with the Silver and Blue outside of the action in between the lines on the gridiron. Then, like clockwork, August 21-27 happened.
Pro Football Hall of Famer San Francisco 49ers in exchange for 2021 NFL Draft third overall pick quarterback , and outgoing Dallas quarterback Will Grier put on his best Matt Hasselbeck impression, according to head coach Mike McCarthy, in the team's 31-16 preseason finale victory. So when Cowboys starting quarterback Dak Prescott was asked about the Lance deal on Saturday night, he provided a fair answer: just another day in the life as a Dallas Cowboy.to the Cowboys Ring of Honor while Jerry Jones once again snubbed Pro Football Hall of Fame coach Jimmy Johnson from the Dallas' ROH, defensive end , Jones , the Cowboys traded a 2024 fourth-round pick to the
"To be honest with you, I'm not surprised by anything anymore," Prescott said Saturday after the Cowboys 31-16 home win over the Las Vegas Raiders in their preseason finale. "I've been in this league eight years on this team. It's hard to say that I was surprised to be honest with you. "I understand it's a business. That's a first round of talent, and you're always trying to make your team better. That's the front office, so we're going to welcome him as we do any teammate. Hope he makes us better and continue to get back at him. We have one goal as a team [win the Super Bowl]."
Even though other teams have told their incumbent starting quarterbacks about acquiring other young players at the position, like when the Minnesota Vikings informed Kirk Cousins they were selecting Kellen Mond in the third round of the 2021 NFL Draft, Jones with Dak Prescott. Not providing such a courtesy was the beginning of the end of future Hall of Fame quarterback and Dallas Cowboys head coach Mike McCarthy's former pupil Aaron Rodgers' historic tenure with the Green Bay Packers as the lack of communication sparked a divide between him and the team's front office. However, Prescott has a different outlook on his situation than Rodgers did after Green Bay traded up four spots in the 2020 NFL Draft to select Jordan Love 26th overall.
"I didn't expect to hear from Jerry on this beforehand, and as he would tell you, I can't say that I expected it," Prescott said. "I understand that that's business they're probably on a timeline and needed to get something done. And as I said, he felt like that strengthened this team. We are ready to welcome him, and we know the strength of the quarterback room that we have right now."
As for what acquiring a former top-three NFL draft pick at his position who is athletic, 23 years old, and who couldn't beat out Sam Darnold for the San Francisco 49ers' backup quarterback job means for Prescott's future, which currently involves just two more seasons left, 2023 and 2024, on his existing four-year, $160 million contract, the quarterback once again deferred to the Jones family.
"I believe that [those are just] talks, and those talks are in the office where business is handled, so there will come a time when that happens," Prescott said, opting to not engage in a public negotiation for his long-term future with the team. "We're going to welcome Trey, and that's what you do for a teammate. I'm excited. I'm always there to help somebody, help a teammate. I'm a selfless person. So that's not going to change by any means."
Whenever Lance and Prescott first cross paths in the Cowboys quarterbacks room, it won't be their first interaction. The two actually met two years ago in the lead-up to the 2021 NFL Daft.
"Our paths crossed during his draft process for a marketing thing, and he seemed like a great kid," Prescott said. "I know he's a great kid. He's a great, excuse me, a great guy I should say. And as I said, I'm ready to welcome him to the team."
During the local broadcast of Saturday night's game on CBS 11 KTVT, Cowboys COO and EVP Stephen Jones clarified the team's long-term position on Prescott: that they would like to be in the Dak business for the foreseeable future.
"Just really felt like it was a chance for us to have a young guy [Trey Lance] in the room that's on the come [up]," Stephen Jones said Saturday on CBS 11. "It certainly has no effect on Dak and his future. We look forward to getting his long-term contract signed sooner than later."
McCarthy echoed Jones' sentiments on what the Lance acquisition does for their quarterbacks room. The head coach is known for having what he calls "Quarterback School," a process he implemented with the Green Bay Packers where he was hands-on with the position's development year-round from fundamentals to audibles and everything in-between. Now that he's returned to play-calling duties and more hands-on with the offense once again, McCarthy is fired up about adding a high-ceiling developmental prospect.
"Excited about the acquisition, and I think any time you have an opportunity to really just trust your personnel grades [is great], and he was a young man who was highly sought after in a number of organizations, no different than ours" McCarthy said Saturday night after the team's 31-16 home win against the Las Vegas Raiders in their preseason finale. "The timing of it is tough but excited to have him part of it. He's coming to a damn good football team, great locker room and I'll stay in the quarterback room."
As for how long Lance will be a member of the Cowboys' quarterbacks room remains to be seen. The former third overall pick is under contract for at least two more seasons, 2023 and 2024, and Dallas will have to make a call next offseason about picking up his fully-guaranteed fifth-year option for 2025. Lance has a cap hit of $940,000 for 2023 and a cap hit of $5.31 million for 2024.
"No, we're excited about having him, and we're excited about the terms of his agreement," Cowboys owner Jerry Jones said Saturday prior to the team's preseason finale against the Las Vegas Raiders. "We're fully aware that we have more money to invest in him next year. We'll look and see what happens there in the future as far as the fifth-year is concerned or the extension of a contract. We hope it gets to that. We hopes his evolving is at the level. We feel very good that it can be. Make no mistake about it, you sit around with your hand in your pocket and think about an opportunity like this, and it can be gone."
Just like the opportunity to trade for Lance may have come and gone for the Cowboys had they waited around, so too has their drama-free offseason.