After losing out on the backup quarterback job with the San Francisco 49ers, Trey Lance has a new home.
With the Dallas Cowboys.
According to ESPN’s Adam Schefter, the 49ers are sending the former third-overall selection in the 2021 NFL Draft to Dallas for a fourth-round pick in the 2024 NFL Draft.
Ahead of the 2021 NFL Draft, the 49ers traded up to the third-overall selection to draft Lance, sending four picks to the Miami Dolphins: A 2021 first-round pick (No. 12 overall), a 2022 first-round pick (which became No. 22 overall), a 2022 third-round pick (No. 101 overall), and a 2023 first-round pick (which became No. 29 overall).
At the time of the trade, Lance was one of five quarterbacks viewed as potential first-round picks in the 2021 cycle. The other four? Trevor Lawrence, Zach Wilson, Justin Fields, and Mac Jones.
Lawrence and Wilson were the first two picks in the draft.
Despite drafting Lance third overall — and the draft capital the organization used to acquire him — it was Jimmy Garoppolo who began the 2021 season as the starter in San Francisco. Lance made his first NFL start in Week 5 after a calf injury to Garoppolo, completing 15-of-29 passes for 192 yards and an interception in a loss to the Arizona Cardinals. He would make one more start that season, guiding the 49ers to a win over the Houston Texans.
Lance began the 2022 season as the team’s starting quarterback, but an ankle injury suffered in Week 2 cut his season short, opening the door for Garoppolo to return to the starting lineup. When Garoppolo suffered an injury of his own, the team turned to their seventh-round selection in the 2022 NFL Draft, Brock Purdy.
Purdy is now entrenched as the team’s starting quarterback, despite the fact he is coming off a UCL injury suffered in the NFC Championship game a season ago. The team signed Sam Darnold in the offseason, and earlier this week named Darnold as the team’s backup.
Lance was expected to play significant time for the 49ers in Friday night’s final preseason game against the Los Angeles Chargers. It was believed that the outing would serve as a showcase for the quarterback for a potential trade.
Instead, he is on his way out of town before kickoff.
Lance gets a fresh start in Dallas, where he can sit behind Dak Prescott and learn from Mike McCarthy. The Cowboys have two other quarterbacks on the roster, veteran Cooper Rush and Will Grier, who has spent the past two seasons bouncing between the practice squad and the active roster in Dallas.
McCarthy’s quarterback coaching lineage dates back to Joe Montana, and of course includes Aaron Rodgers among the passers he has worked with.
Lance is under contract through the 2024 season, which Dallas is now on the hook for to the tune of $5.3 million. The Cowboys also gain the ability to decide on Lance’s fifth-year option, for the 2025 season.
Whether McCarthy can salvage Lance, however, remains to be seen.