Jones: Lance trade has no bearing on Dak talks

ARLINGTON, Texas — The Dallas Cowboys‘ acquisition of Trey Lance from the San Francisco 49ers does not have anything to do with the club’s desire to extend Dak Prescott‘s contract.

“Didn’t cross my mind, period, about an impact here regarding Dak,” owner and general manager Jerry Jones said Saturday before the Cowboys’ final preseason game against the Las Vegas Raiders. “I know that Dak wants to do anything we can do to improve this team and we’re going to do it. The facts are that the decision to bring in as high a quality of talent as we could, that’s involving young talent … that’s something that we’ve been trying to do, just never the opportunity seems to be there. So often we’ve been trying to do what we did today with this trade almost every draft since we’ve been drafting.”

Prescott, 30, is signed through 2024 and has a $59.45 million salary-cap figure next year. He has a no-trade clause, and the Cowboys cannot place the franchise tag on him. While the Cowboys have expressed the desire to extend Prescott’s contract, there has not been much dialogue regarding a new deal, sources told ESPN.

Jones said the team did not give Prescott a heads-up before the trade, and he had yet to speak with him on Saturday. Jones said coach Mike McCarthy was not consulted either, though he did say he liked Lance coming into the 2021 draft.

“The minute that we knew that they were serious about trading him, then we didn’t want the phone to hang up,” Jones said. “We did it the equivalent of yesterday. And so we felt good about him with the evaluation we had for him at the draft. We felt good about what we’ve seen, tape that he’s had since he’s been in the NFL. And it’s one that we made the decision almost the minute we heard the name. Let’s get him.”

The Cowboys had a second-round grade in 2021 on Lance, according to multiple sources. The Niners made him available for a trade after naming Sam Darnold as their backup to starting quarterback Brock Purdy. San Francisco gave up three first-round picks and a third rounder to the Miami Dolphins to select Lance with the third overall pick. In two seasons, Lance completed 56 of 102 passes for 797 yards with five touchdowns and three interceptions.

Lance’s eight games are the fewest played by a top-five pick for the franchise he made his debut with in the common draft era (since 1967 and excluding the 2023 draft class), according to ESPN Stats & Information.

It is unlikely that Lance will play a significant role this year for the Cowboys.

“I don’t want to plan on, count on or wish for help from him this year,” Jones said.

The addition of Lance means the Cowboys will carry three quarterbacks on their 53-man roster, with Prescott and Cooper Rush. It also removes the need for them to select a quarterback in next year’s draft. Jones said the Cowboys would have selected Jalen Hurts had the Philadelphia Eagles not selected him in the second round in 2020.

“It is our plan, when we can, but it very seldom happens, to have someone of high enough quality to be there at the right place with our draft pick,” Jones said. “This one worked. We’re excited about it.”

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