Cowboys Urged to Make Quarterback Trade: ‘Doesn’t Make Sense’

The Dallas Cowboys have three quarterbacks under contract for 2024, but the franchise faces a long-term decision on Trey Lance’s future. All this has some wondering whether the Cowboys should move on from Cooper Rush and make Lance the backup quarterback. Lance still has yet to play a snap for the Cowboys since the team gave up a fourth rounder in a 2023 trade with the San Francisco 49ers.

Bleacher Report’s Alex Ballentine believes Dallas should either trade or cut Rush in order to save a bit of cap room. The analyst argues that it “just doesn’t make sense” to take on Rush’s expense while having Lance on the roster. Moving on from Rush also opens up a potential opportunity to see what the franchise has in Lance.

“Cooper Rush might not have much trade value, but he did come through for the Cowboys in 2022,” Ballentine detailed in a May 8, 2024 story titled, “Cowboys’ Potential Trade, Cut Candidates After 2024 NFL Draft.” “He made five starts as the backup two years ago going 4-1 and throwing five touchdowns to thee interceptions.

“… They ended up carrying Lance and Cooper Rush on the active roster. With the new rule that NFL teams can carry a third emergency quarterback without using a 53-man roster spots, it’s a little easier to hang on to developmental options. But the Cowboys can save $2.3 million against the cap by either trading or releasing Rush.

“Given how tight the Cowboys budget is right now, it just doesn’t make sense to pass on that kind of cap savings when Lance has now been around for a year to learn the offense and step in if Prescott is injured.”

Cowboys News: Dallas Declined Trey Lance’s 5th-Year Option for 2025 With All 3 QBs Set to Hit Free Agency Next Offseason


Rush is not exactly expensive by NFL standards given his two-year, $5 million contract. The veteran is a bit redundant with Lance on the roster. Rush has a $2.87 million cap hit for 2024.

Lance is more expensive with a $5.3 million cap hit this season. The quarterback is entering the final season of a four-year, $34.1 million rookie contract.

Dallas declined Lance’s expensive fifth-year option for 2025 which would have had a $22.4 million cap hit. This does not prevent the Cowboys from re-signing Lance next offseason, but the quarterback will be a free agent.

Lance, Rush and Dak Prescott are all slated to be free agents in 2025. Prescott’s status could change if the Cowboys are able to ink the star to a contract extension.

Cowboys Rumors: The Bengals & Raiders Showed an Interest in Cooper Rush in 2023

It is hard to imagine Rush would net a sizable return via trade. Yet, Dallas may be able to at least find a late-round selection for the veteran.

We do know that Rush generated interest during the 2023 free agency period before ultimately returning to the Cowboys. The Las Vegas Raiders and Cincinnati Bengals were two teams who showed an interest in signing Rush, per ESPN’s Todd Archer.

Could either of these teams still have an interest in landing Rush? While Prescott was sidelined in 2022, Rush started five games and appeared in four others throwing for 1,051 yards, 5 touchdowns and 3 interceptions while completing 58% of his passes.

“After going 4-1 last season as the Dallas Cowboys’ starting quarterback while Dak Prescott recovered from thumb surgery, Rush was a hot commodity in free agency,” Archer detailed in an April 4, 2023 story titled, “Bad weather, a delayed flight and kismet? How Cooper Rush’s deal with Cowboys got done.” “He was flying to Las Vegas that day to meet with the Raiders, and the Cincinnati Bengals also expressed interest and hoped to set up a visit.

“… Though the flight was never canceled, Rush never got on the plane. He took a night to sleep on the Cowboys’ offer and woke up on St. Patrick’s Day with a two-year deal worth a max of $6 million that included a $1.25 million signing bonus.”

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