Cowboys planning to give Trey Lance a chance to salvage career

It’s sink or swim time for Trey Lance.

The Cowboys plan to give the former first-round pick plenty of reps this offseason and during training camp to see whether Lance is a serviceable NFL quarterback, according to the Fort Worth Star-Telegram.

Lance is the team’s third-string quarterback behind starter Dak Prescott and backup Cooper Rush.

Trey Lance did not play for the Cowboys last season. AP

“We know Dak. We know Coop. He is the question mark. There’s so much he doesn’t know that he’s got to figure out. And so that’s what’s exciting about that if he can be he can be a really good player because he’s wired the right way and the way he works,” Cowboys offensive coordinator Brian Schottenheimer told the paper. “We just got to give them the opportunity to show us that with the year under his belt and being comfortable.

“It’s gonna be all about getting him a ton of reps throughout OTAs, mini camp and then training camp. You’re gonna see him getting a ton right leading into the preseason.”

Lance is veering toward all-time bust territory after being selected with the No. 3 pick by the 49ers in the 2021 NFL Draft, having shown little in his first three seasons.

He started four games in his first two seasons in San Francisco, including two in the 2022 season after being named the Week 1 starter, before being Wally Pipp’d by Brock Purdy.

The 49ers traded him to the Cowboys for a fourth-round pick before the start of the 2023 season, and Lance proceeded to play a total of zero offensive snaps last year.

Trey Lance appeared in four games with the 49ers prior to the trade. Getty Images

Lance certainly still has tools that made him a top-three pick, but they just have not been on display due to both opportunity and injury.

Complicating matters is Lance only played in 19 games in college with North Dakota State, leaving him quite raw entering his fourth NFL season.

“The guy’s obviously an unbelievable athlete but we need to get him the reps,” Schottenheimer said. “How do you learn to play the position of quarterback, unless you’re playing right.”

Trey Lance warms up before the Cowboys’ playoff loss. AP

The Cowboys already declined Lance’s fifth-year option, but with Prescott a pending free agent, Dallas needs to have an eye on the future.

And for Lance, how he does this year could decide if he’s part of that future.

“Our big objective from the time he got back is obviously making sure he’s good with this system, which has been great,” Schottenheimer said. “Number two, is getting his fundamentals where we want them. Okay. A guy that was at North Dakota State and San Francisco. The way they teach quarterbacks very different than how we teach a West Coast quarterback. It’s been a totally different light put on him now because we’re excited about the skills where we see the talent.

“The best thing he does to this day is still improvise and move. So now let’s see what concepts he likes to see what he’s comfortable doing from a protection standpoint of solving problems and things like that. And over the time, we’re gonna get that figured out so we could put together a really good package for him when he’s got it to go play.”

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