FRISCO, Texas — The Dallas Cowboys made a sizable splash on Friday evening as the team sent a fourth-round draft pick to the San Francisco 49ers in exchange for former No. 3 overall pick QB Trey Lance.
Lance, 23, was selected third overall in 2021 after the 49ers traded a large portion of draft stock to select the dual-threat playmaker out of North Dakota State. In two seasons with San Francisco, Lance saw the field in eight games including two starts in which he threw for 797 yards and five touchdowns.
However, the writing was on the wall when the 49ers chose Sam Darnold as their No. 2 quarterback to Brock Purdy earlier this week after Lance struggled during the 2023 preseason. Instead of cutting the former first-round pick, the team decided to engage with a trade with the Dallas Cowboys.
This throws an interesting wrench into the depth of the Cowboys quarterback room with Cooper Rush and Will Grier both having solid preseasons up to this point. With the 53-cut on Tuesday, it seems almost certain that at least one of them will be left without a spot.
Lance still is owed $940,000 for the remainder of his 2023 salary and $5.3 million in 2024, all of which is guaranteed from Dallas. The Cowboys also have the ability to decide on Lance's fifth-year option for 2025 that is reserved for first-round picks.
The only full season for Lance came as a junior in college where he passed for 2,786 yards and 28 touchdowns and zero interceptions. On the ground, he rushed for 1,100 yards and 14 touchdowns in helping to lead North Dakota State to an FCS National Championship. However, he played just one game in the 2020 season as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic and has yet to start more than two games at the NFL level in any particular season.
The Cowboys will take a flier on Lance in hopes of striking gold on a prospect that once had teams across the league looking to position themselves to draft his dual-threat capabilities.