Trey Lance

Prescott, Cowboys brass share honest Lance feelings after 49ers trade

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Dak Prescott didn't know the Dallas Cowboys were going to trade for another quarterback, but the move to acquire Trey Lance from the 49ers on Friday didn't surprise him.

The veteran signal-caller spoke about the move for the first time Saturday after the Cowboys' preseason game against the Las Vegas Raiders, telling reporters why bringing Lance on board made sense.

"Obviously I understand it's a business. That's a first-round talent and you're always trying to make your team better," Prescott said. "But that was the front office, so we're going to welcome him as we do any teammate and hopefully he just makes us better, and we're going to continue to get back at it and know that we've got one goal as a team."

Lance was dealt to Dallas after 49ers coach Kyle Shanahan told him he would be the team's No. 3 quarterback, behind Brock Purdy and Sam Darnold, a year removed from starting last season as QB1. But injuries derailed Lance's development, and the 23-year-old asked San Francisco to find him an opportunity elsewhere, if possible, in 2023.

Now, Lance is the Cowboys' presumed No. 3 quarterback behind Prescott and Cooper Rush, meaning the team's current third-stringer Will Grier is the odd man out. After lighting up the field Saturday, Grier likely won't make the Dallas roster with Lance in the mix. Prescott said following the game that his heart and mind was with Grier.

"That man just played his ass off. That's who Will is," Prescott said. "That's who Will's been since the time he's been here. It was awesome that he got to go out there and out that performance on display and hope the rest of the league saw that and took notice."

Cowboys coach Mike McCarthy told reporters after the game he was excited about the Lance acquisition.

"I think any time you have an opportunity to really just trust your personnel grades -- obviously, he's a young man that was highly thought of in all organizations, no different in ours," McCarthy said. "The timing of it is tough."

McCarthy praised the performance of Grier, who was misty-eyed talking to reporters after the game.

"I think my play speaks for itself," Grier said. "I'm a team-first guy … at the end of the day it's a numbers thing. It's just part of the job I signed up for. It's hard, it's tough, because you get close to people. But at the same time, I'm going to be just fine. Everybody is going to be fine."

The NFL can be a cruel business, as both Lance and Grier found out this past week. But each team only has the goal of getting better in mind, and Cowboys owner Jerry Jones seems confident he has found Prescott's heir after missing out on Philadelphia Eagles quarterback Jalen Hurts in the 2020 NFL Draft.

"Two years ago we were looking at the Philadelphia quarterback," Jones told reporters Saturday. "Had he fallen to us, we would've drafted him. It is our plan when we can, but it very seldom happens, to have someone with a high enough quality to be in a place with our draft pick.

"We're excited about [Lance]."

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