What a crazy surprise! The Dallas Cowboys have traded a middle 2024 draft pick to the San Francisco 49ers for the former 2021 third overall pick, Trey Lance. What does this mean for the once-promising quarterback? How does this affect the QB situations with the 49ers and Cowboys?
A Change of Scenery
For a while this off-season, it seemed that Lance’s time with the 49ers was nearing an end. He lost his starting job to Brock Purdy and the backup job to Sam Darnold. Can the young quarterback find his footing with Dallas?
Coming out of college at North Dakota State, Lance was a raw prospect. He had upside with his cannon for an arm and elite mobility. But his mechanics needed work to compete at the NFL level.
In his rookie season, he sat behind Jimmy G for the most part. He did manage to flash in two starts, combining over 600 passing and rushing yards. There was considerable hope that he would rise in year two. We all know what happened last year, as Lance would start a game and a half before missing the rest of the season due to injury.
His Fit in Dallas
What are the expectations of Lance as a Cowboy? Lance will come in as the backup or the third string quarterback. Yes there is a chance he takes time before getting the backup job for Dallas. Dak Prescott has missed 17 games over the last three seasons. Lance would be an upgrade over current back up Cooper Rush regarding talent. I’d imagine they give the young quarterback an opportunity if it comes to that. It’s also good for Lance to have a better mentor in Prescott, who has taken criticism and to help the young quarterback grow.
The most likely opportunity for Lance to start is if the Cowboys make a significant move and move on from Prescott in 2024. But they’ll be setting up a giant dead cap hit if they choose to go that route. Lance has two years left on his contract plus a fifth-year option. Lance could be stuck in Dallas for the next three seasons.
There is potential for a new head coach; as Mike McCarthy could be out if Dallas has another lousy season. So, it is possible for Lance to start in 2024, but it may be a long shot unless an injury occurs. The next chance would be in 2025 once Prescott’s contract is up.
In terms of pure talent, Lance beats Prescott in that, but the things that matter regarding leadership and mechanics are questionable. It’s hard to judge Lance since we haven’t seen him on the field besides a handful of games.
Lance’s value will hit an all-time low in a month or so. It would be the best time to go out and buy him. I say buy him because we have no idea what will happen with his career. While it looks like a back up career, he still has a chance. You could send out a few thirds to get the job done. A Ryan Tannehill or Jimmy G to a team looking to compete so you could snag Lance and a pick for trading away an older vet.
Dallas’ QB Room
Oddly, the Cowboys would make such a move with Prescott on the roster. As I said, his contract expires at the end of the 2024 season. He hasn’t been able to get the Cowboys to a Super Bowl so Jerry Jones may want to switch things up a bit. Lance won’t replace Prescott unless he isn’t with the team, but his dynasty value drops. Prescott should remain a borderline QB1 at the moment . If you were holding Cooper Rush, he likely isn’t worth holding on to, as I expect Lance to replace him eventually.
49ers’ QB Room
All the confidence is on Purdy, who likely has been traded around in dynasty at a value. I’m still not sold that he is set up for his dynasty value. If Purdy struggles this season, I could see the 49ers bringing in an All Pro type of quarterback to run this team. Selling high on Purdy right now makes sense since no one will want him if he struggles. Sam Darnold is the backup piece to rostered on Superflex leagues since he could start in 2023.