In a surprising move, the San Francisco 49ers have traded their once-promising quarterback Trey Lance to the Dallas Cowboys in exchange for a 4th round draft pick. Lance, who was selected with great anticipation in the 2021 draft, has seen his journey take unexpected turns since his FCS days at North Dakota State.
The 49ers made a bold move to secure Lance's talents, trading away multiple first-round picks and future selections to move up to the 3rd overall pick in the 2021 draft. Hailing from the FCS powerhouse North Dakota State, Lance arrived with high expectations. Standing at nearly 6'4" and weighing 225 pounds, with a formidable arm, he seemed destined for NFL success.
His collegiate statistics were nothing short of remarkable, throwing for 2,786 yards, 28 touchdowns, and zero interceptions in his first year at North Dakota State. However, disruptions caused by the COVID-19 pandemic affected his development, limiting him to just one game in the 2020 season.
Unfortunately, Lance's time in San Francisco didn't bear the fruit many had hoped for. Over three seasons, he found himself playing second fiddle to various quarterbacks. Injuries and roster decisions kept him from solidifying his role as the starter. Even in 2023, he was relegated to the 3rd string backup position, raising concerns about his potential.
Trey Lance's request for a trade came as a surprise, but the Cowboys swiftly emerged as the destination of choice. The team, known for taking calculated risks on players with potential, parted with a 4th round pick to acquire the young quarterback. With Dak Prescott as the established starter, Lance will have the opportunity to learn and grow, possibly even getting a chance to shine should Prescott face injury.
While Dallas provides a fresh start for Lance, some argue that other teams, like the Cardinals or the injury-prone Dolphins, might have been more suitable landing spots. The move to Dallas raises questions about whether Jerry Jones' reputation for banking on potential will pay off once again. Jones has a history of turning potential into success, as seen with players like Jaylon Smith, Randy Gregory, and La'el Collins.
As the dust settles, the trade raises the question: can the gamble on Trey Lance yield dividends for the Cowboys? Many experts believe that Lance has the tools to succeed, and a change of scenery could be just what he needs. With a backup role initially in the cards, the real test will come if Dak Prescott is sidelined by injury. According to draftsharks.com, Prescott holds a 51% chance of getting injured this season. In such a scenario, Trey Lance could finally have the opportunity to prove his worth and show how much a "change of scenery" can truly impact a player's trajectory.