Trey Lance discusses his welcome in Dallas.
He also trains in Fort Worth in the offseason, so his landing with the Cowboys feels a bit like kismet, though he will have to acclimate to the Texas heat wave in addition to offensive installs.
“It helps for sure,” Lance said of his familiarity with the Metroplex. “I got a little intro to the heat this summer. It wasn’t anything like I expected.”
Speaking of the unexpected, the trade itself falls into that category — seeing as it came out of nowhere and materialized quickly once the Cowboys and 49ers got on the phone, the former refusing to let the latter off of the line until Lance was heading to Dallas in exchange for a fourth-round pick.
That workload will include learning as much from Dak Prescott as possible.
“He welcomed me with open arms,” said Lance of the two-time Pro Bowl quarterback. “... It meant a lot to me. This business is crazy but, for me, I’m not looking forward — at all. I’m just trying to take it one day at a time. This guy has played at a very high level for a long time so, obviously, just tons of respect for him, as I think he deserves and gets from across the league.
“I’m just trying to learn everything I possibly can from him.”
How will Dallas Cowboys develop No. 3 QB Trey Lance during the season with limited reps? Clarence E. Hill, Star-Telegram
Good question, Clarence.
McCarthy said quarterback coach Scott Tolzien will be primarily responsible for working with Lance. Offensive coordinator Brian Schottenheimer and McCarthy will also be involved. “We’ll all try to get as much time with him as we can outside of our normal work schedule,” McCarthy said. And even that will be limited during the NFL season.
So how will the Cowboys be able to find time to develop a young quarterback who needs as much time and attention as anyone? Lance is still just 23 years old and worth investing in. But his inexperience and lack of playing time was a question when he came out of college at North Dakota State and it still is. He also had only 17 starts in three years in college with 318 career pass attempts and had just four starts the past two seasons with the 49ers with 102 pass attempts. Add in the fact that reps are hard to come by during the regular season for the back up quarterback, let alone the third quarterback, with most of the focus on the starter getting ready for coming game.
How will the Cowboys be able to develop him in 2023? “You just do the best we can,” McCarthy said. We have young player meetings for all our young players, three times a week. We do things in the post practice segments to work with our young players. He’ll be a big part of that and then any other time that’s available.”
It’s a plan. But will it be enough?
If you want to see all of the NFL cuts, here is a tracker.
Biggest move: Putting Jourdan Lewis on the active roster is a sign the veteran cornerback is close to contributing after suffering a severe foot injury in the middle of last season. Lewis had been on the physically unable to perform list through training camp but has picked up his work in recent weeks. If they kept him on PUP, he would have missed the first four games and, maybe more importantly, not been able to practice. While he might not be ready for the opener or even Week 2 or 3, he can practice with the team with a ramp-up period to test his foot and return to a role in the slot. Without that, he may have missed the first six games. Aside from maybe tight end Sean McKeon, there really was no surprise among the cuts, but the Cowboys will re-sign long-snapper Trent Sieg, special teams ace C.J. Goodwin and offensive lineman Chuma Edoga perhaps as soon as Wednesday after putting two players on injured reserve/designated to return. — Todd Archer
Traded: CB Kelvin Joseph
Acquired: CB Noah Igbinoghene
Waived/released: DT Isaac Alarcon, DE Ben Banogu, WR Jose Barbon, DT Quinton Bohanna, OL Earl Bostick, CB Myles Brooks, CB Josh Butler, LB Jabril Cox, S Tyler Coyle, RB Malik Davis, WR Dontario Drummond, OL Chuma Edoga, TE Princeton Fant, OL Matt Farniok, WR Simi Fehoko, CB C.J. Goodwin, TE Seth Green, QB Will Grier, OL Brock Hoffman, WR Dennis Houston, LB Malik Jefferson, DE Durrell Johnson, WR Tyron Johnson, LB Isaiah Land, OL Alec Lindstrom, CB D’Angelo Mandell, TE Sean McKeon, WR Jalen Moreno-Cropper, DB Sheldrick Redwine, LS Trent Sieg, OL Alex Taylor-Prioleau, DL Tyrus Wheat
Reserve/suspended: RB Ronald Jones
Will the Cowboys go shopping?
Injuries and lack of quality options have left the Cowboys’ defense short at LB. Jones was released by the Carolina Panthers after singing before the start of training camp.
Before his stint with the Panthers, Jones was a Pro Bowl player under Dan Quinn with the Atlanta Falcons and played with the Cleveland Browns last year. Jones has five 100+ tackle seasons to his name, his last one coming in 2021.
A familiarity with Quinn makes this a solid match for a LB depleted defense.
If the Cowboys are still looking for a quality swing tackle option, Phillips could fill that role. Phillips has started 18 games over three seasons with the Baltimore Ravens and Giants. He also has guard flexibility.
The six-year veteran LB was cut by the Philadelphia Eagles, who signed him this offseason. Morrow had stops with the Las Vegas Raiders and the Chicago Bears, with whom he had a career year with in 2022, registering 116 tackles.
Dallas was interested in Morrow this offseason, which could be a sign the team likes the 28-year olds game.
Members of the Cowboys would love to have Will Grier back.
But if he wants to remain/return, the door is not only wide open; there’s a welcome mat in front of it.
“I hope so,” said head coach Mike McCarthy of possibly carrying Grier on the practice squad as the team’s fourth quarterback. “I’d be all for it. We’ve just got to look at these other numbers [though]. We have some positions that are not a normal number.
“But, yes, if Will Grier gets picked up on a 53-man roster, he deserves it, but I’d love to have him back as the fourth quarterback. I think four quarterbacks in an NFL organization makes way too much sense. How you get that done sometimes [however] is a challenge.”
You can count Dak Prescott in on that formula.
“That man just played his ass off,” said Prescott after Grier had what you could justifiably label as a career game against the Raiders. “That’s who Will is. That’s who Will’s been since the time he’s been here. It was awesome that he got to go out there and put that performance on display and hope the rest of the league saw that and took notice.”
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