Dak: Grier departure after Lance transaction “difficult situation”

Todd ArcherESPN Staff Writer Aug 27, 2023 1:11am ET4 minutes read

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ARLINGTON, Texas — Dak Prescott experienced a series of emotions over the past two days, culminating in the Dallas Cowboys’ 31-16 win over the Las Vegas Raiders to cap off the preseason on Saturday.

Prescott enjoyed making plays and directing an offense that racked up 457 yards and 28 first downs, and he expressed disappointment at teammate Will Grier, whose time with the Cowboys ended with the acquisition of Trey Lance from the San Francisco 49ers soon to be the end of the No. 3 quarterback.

Owner and general manager Jerry Jones didn’t notify Prescott that a trade was forthcoming and only spoke to the quarterback before kickoff Saturday.

“I can’t say I really expected that [a heads-up]”No,” Prescott said. “However, I understand that this is business. I understand that they are probably on a schedule and have something to get done. He felt this strengthened this team and, yes, was ready to welcome it [Lance] and yes, I mean knowing the strength of the quarterback room that we have. Honestly, right now my heart and mind are with Will. To be honest, it’s a difficult situation. I love that guy over there more than anything. Works his ass off, come in and get ready the right way every day.

Prescott was asked if he was surprised by the trade for Lance, who was selected for the 2024 fourth round.

“They’ve been in this league and on this team for eight years,” Prescott said. “To be honest, it’s hard to say I was surprised.”

Prescott said he met Lance during a marketing event in 2021 before Lance was voted 3rd overall by San Francisco.

“I mean, of course I understand it’s a deal,” Prescott said. “That’s a first-round talent and you’re always trying to make your team better. But that was the front office so we will welcome him like any other teammate and hopefully he just makes us better. That’s who we are. We will continue and know that we have a goal as a team.

Prescott is under contract until 2024 and the Cowboys have expressed a desire to sign him for an extension, executive vice president Stephen Jones reiterated on Saturday. Whether the addition of Lance gives the Cowboys any impact isn’t an issue for Prescott.

“I will leave these discussions in the office where business is conducted,” Prescott said.

Coach Mike McCarthy reached out to Prescott later in the week and asked him about the possibility of calling games against the Raiders. McCarthy has handed over responsibility for the last preseason game to another assistant coach in the past.

Prescott spent his time behind McCarthy on the touchline, directing plays to Grier, who rushed for 305 yards on 29 of 35 passes with two touchdown passes and two rushing touchdowns. McCarthy said it was the best preseason performance by a quarterback he’s seen since coaching Matt Hasselbeck in 1999.

“When I got the call, I called Will right away,” McCarthy said. “I just asked him to go out and work his ass off tonight. It was a great opportunity and the team rallied around him… I’m just so proud of him.”

Prescott took no credit.

“I’ve been at this for a while, so I kind of understand the process and what you’re trying to achieve,” Prescott said. “Knowing the quarterback, knowing what he’s good at, knowing what he wants to do is a big part of that, I think. That deserves as much credit as the decision to make a few plays. This guy worked his ass off all the time.” That’s the way a quarterback plays, it doesn’t matter who makes the plays.

He downplayed his effect even more.

“It’s pre-season football,” Prescott said. “These guys gave us three coverages on the other side. I’m not going to be sitting here on my high horse like I just declared the Super Bowl or anything. It was a game and it was fun. It was fun and it.” It was fun to experience that.

McCarthy was pleased with Prescott’s performance and believes it will help the quarterback prepare for the regular season.

“It’s the attempts to get the plate, the emotional, mental rehearsal and just being there,” McCarthy said. “I can tell you from experience that when you’re not here you can watch all the film you want, you can sit there and do all the analysis you want and read all your reports, but if you’re not. “You have to be like that [snaps fingers] name plays. It’s a really good experience for him to play the game. The fact that he calls it that is part of the game preparation for me.”


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