Grier shines in possible final act with team as Cowboys beat Raiders 31-16 in preseason finale - AP, ESPN
In what was likely his last appearance with the Cowboys, Will Grier had an exceptional performance.
With star Dallas quarterback Dak Prescott calling the plays, Grier threw for 305 yards with two TDs and ran for 54 yards with two more scores in what might have been his final act with the Cowboys after two seasons behind backup Cooper Rush.
After Grier’s 15-yard scoring pass to rookie running back Hunter Luepke for a 21-10 lead late in the first half, Prescott pumped his fists the same he way does after his own TDs and celebrated with offensive coordinator Brian Schottenheimer and coach Mike McCarthy.
“It’s a great time,” Prescott said. “It’s not just playing the game, it’s being able to impact it every which way. Obviously knowing that this is a big night for Will, I was just trying to make him comfortable.” Grier, whose only two regular-season games came as a rookie with Carolina in 2019, took every snap for the Cowboys with Rush entrenched in the role behind Prescott.
These players came up big in the Saturday Spotlight against the Raiders.
Luke Schoonmaker, TE
The rookie second-round pick has continued to make strides after making his training camp debut in mid-August, delivering two first-down catches against the Seahawks one week ago before grabbing his first-ever preseason touchdown against the Raiders. It was a nine-yard reception from Grier early in the second quarter to give the Cowboys a 14-3 lead, and serves as a hint of what’s to come from the former Wolverine.
Mazi Smith, DT
A lot has been said about the rookie having an up-and-down training camp and preseason, but one need look no further than the Raiders’ first offensive drive to see what Smith can be, after the first-round pick blew up a rushing attempt on third-and-1 that became a two-yard loss and an eventual punt on fourth-and-3. It was easily his best outing thus far.
Dontario Drummond, WR
In a stacked WRs room in Dallas, Drummond has had one hell of time making a name for himself when others like Jalen Brooks and Jalen Cropper have fought it out on the bubble, while Jalen Tolbert and KaVontae Turpin join Simi Fehoko in the matchup for WR4/5. But, on Saturday, Drummond took the bull by the horns and led the team in receiving for much of the first half; and that’s definitely worth something, even if that something is another go at the practice squad.
Roster cutdowns are coming on Tuesday, and Gehlken has a long list of notable names he thinks are not going to make the final cut.
All 11 players whom the Cowboys drafted in 2021 are still with the franchise. That is about to change.
Cornerback Kelvin Joseph and linebacker Jabril Cox were second- and fourth-round picks that year, respectively. Neither seemed to do enough Saturday to make himself feel comfortable as Tuesday’s roster cutdown approaches. There is a high likelihood that both players, if not traded by then, will be waived.
Guard/tackle Josh Ball, wide receiver Simi Fehoko, nose tackle Quinton Bohanna, safety Israel Mukuamu and center/guard Matt Farniok were drafted between the fourth and seventh rounds. Only Mukuamu appears safe for the roster.
Ball might not be waived, having exited after the opening drive. The Cowboys announced in the press box he has a hip injury, and he never returned to the sideline. He’s expected to undergo an MRI on Sunday and very well could be placed on injured reserve.
Neville Gallimore outplayed Bohanna for the final spot on the defensive line. Bohanna found himself aligned Saturday beside Isaac Alarcon when playing deep into the fourth quarter, an ominous sign for his roster chances.
If PFF's first review holds, TJ Bass will be the only #Cowboys OL to not allow a pressure this preseason— John Owning (@JohnOwning) August 27, 2023
Jerry Jones clarifies that acquiring Trey Lance has zero implications on Dak Prescott and his contractual status with the Dallas Cowboys.
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.”
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.
Cowboys owner Jerry Jones still hasn't discussed Trey Lance trade with Dak Prescott, told Mike McCarthy after - Garrett Podell, CBSSports.com
Jerry Jones provides some insight into how the trade went down.
"No, we, we didn't tell anybody until we did it, period," Jones said Saturday prior to the Cowboys preseason finale against the Las Vegas Raiders.
"There was nobody that knew [about] it. "We told Mike [McCarthy], after we had done it, but my point is we just wanted to get it done. Again, we didn't waste any time. My point is, we didn't, we didn't want them, we didn't want them to hang up."
Jones ensured the Cowboys were one of the first teams to place a call to the 49ers about Lance, saying conversations began with San Francisco "the minute that we knew that they were serious about trading [Lance]."
And it looks like Jones closed the deal right as the Bills, Ravens, and Lions were also looking to get into the action, as Dianna Russini of The Athletic reports:
The Buffalo Bills and the Baltimore Ravens are two teams that had conversations with San Francisco about a possible trade for Trey Lance.— Dianna Russini (@DMRussini) August 26, 2023
In the NFC, the Detroit Lions also showed interest, per sources.
Most of the early discussions about a trade involved a 6th rounder that…
The Cowboys have shown in the past that they are willing to roll the dice on high draft picks that have not worked out for other teams. Is Lance one that will work out in the Cowboys’ favor?
On the “Love of the Star” podcast, former Cowboys scout Bryan Broaddus revealed that the team had a second-round grade on Lance in the 2021 NFL Draft.
Lance has the ability to become the ideal backup for Cowboys star quarterback Dak Prescott. Listed at 6-foot-4 and 225 pounds, Lance brings a dual-threat skill set with prototypical size and special arm talent. It’s easy to forget, but at 19 years old, Lance was one of the most dynamic players in college football, throwing 28 touchdowns to zero interceptions while rushing for 1,182 yards and 14 touchdowns en route to a 92.0 overall grade that trailed only Joe Burrow and Justin Fields among FBS and FCS quarterbacks.
His ability to create big plays in and out of the offense’s structure is a big reason why so many thought he was a first-round prospect. That kind of talent doesn’t just disappear overnight. The fact is that injuries and bad luck have limited his practice and game time since he arrived in the NFL, so even the brief glimpses we’ve seen of Lance on the field can’t be deemed as an accurate depiction of his ability to be an NFL QB.
Amidst the excitement for the Cowboys acquiring Trey Lance from the San Francisco 49ers, there needs to be some explanation how the addition impacts the Cowboys roster right now.
For one, yes the Cowboys will undoubtedly keep three quarterbacks on the roster. That isn’t something they have done on a regular basis but did finish the 2022 season with Will Grier backing up Dak Prescott and Cooper Rush. Secondly, it signals the likely end for Grier here in Dallas, at least on the active roster. Grier has been the No. 3 quarterback all along this training camp and preseason, but has played the majority of the games the past two weeks.
Lance has plenty of athletic ability and should provide the Cowboys’ defense with an accurate scouting report when facing some of the mobile QBs on the schedule this year such as Jalen Hurts, Josh Allen, Bryce Young and more.
As for his contract, Lance has a salary of $940,000 that is guaranteed in 2023. Next year, his base salary of $5.3 million is also fully guaranteed. After that, the Cowboys have to decide on his fifth-year option for 2025.
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