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Dallas Cowboys make surprise trade for former 1st round pick Trey Lance

The Dallas Cowboys seemingly sent a sign they aren’t sure that Dak Prescott is the guaranteed future of the franchise by swinging a surprise pick for a disappointing first-round quarterback from the 2021 NFL Draft.

The 2023 NFL season is nearly here and as always there has been a bunch of focus on the Dallas Cowboys. The franchise is always thrown into the speculation of big moves, and over the last week, some league observers have suggested they could be in the running to trade for disgruntled Indianapolis Colts star Jonathan Taylor.

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Well, the ‘Boys made a trade on Friday but it was not for the running back who has run for over 1,000 yards in two of the last three seasons. Instead, they swung a surprise deal for failed 2021 first-round pick Trey Lance.

ESPN NFL insider Adam Schefter broke the news on Friday night when he reported that the “San Francisco 49ers are sending their former No. 3 overall pick Trey Lance to the Dallas Cowboys for a mid-round” draft pick. It was later revealed the pick is expected to be a fourth-round selection.

Dallas Cowboys open the door to QB controversy with Trey Lance trade

dallas cowboys
Credit: Stan Szeto-USA TODAY Sports

The trade isn’t a surprise decision for the 49ers. In fact, it was expected after the organization officially revealed earlier this week that the 23-year-old had failed in his bid to win the backup quarterback role and would be third on the depth chart behind starter Brock Purdy and free agent addition Sam Darnold. So, it made little sense for the franchise to hold on to three well-paid quarterbacks.

  • Trey Lance stats (Career): 797 yards, 5 TD, 3 INT, 84.5 rating

However, the move is surprising for the Dallas Cowboys. On the surface, it is a smart decision to get a competent backup for Prescott, who has a reputation for getting dinged up and missing games during the season. But to choose a player that many still feel has a very high upside is interesting when you factor in that Prescott only has one year left on his contract after this season.

The story of Lance as a member of the San Franciso 49ers organization includes some surprising peaks and valleys. The organization seemingly indicated he could be their future franchise QB when they gave up multiple draft picks to move up and make him the third overall selection in the 2021 NFL Draft.

They again seemed to show their hope for his potential when they chose to bench proven veteran signal-caller Jimmy Garoppolo in favor of Lance in his second season with the franchise. Unfortunately, an ankle injury ended his year after two games, and he lost the starting job when Purdy shocked the NFL world with one of the most unexpected rookie performances in recent memory when he was thrust into the role late in 2022.