Trey Lance Traded to Cowboys: How 49ers Blew It With Their QB of the Future

Trey-Lance-Traded-to-Cowboys:-How-49ers-Blew-It-With-Their-QB-of-the-Future You remember when the 49ers drafted Trey Lance with the third overall pick just last year, don’t you? All the hype and hope for the future, the “he’s a raw talent but wow does he have potential” talk. Well, scratch all that. In a move that left 49ers fans stunned, the team traded Lance to the Dallas Cowboys today for a measly fourth-round pick.

How did it come to this? Just a few short months ago Lance was the quarterback of the future, the guy who was going to take over for Jimmy Garoppolo and lead the 49ers back to glory. Now the 49ers are left with Jimmy G and a hole at backup QB.

Breaking Down the Trade: Niners Deal Trey Lance to Cowboys

Breaking Down the Trade: Niners Deal Trey Lance to Cowboys
Breaking Down the Trade: Niners Deal Trey Lance to Cowboys

The 49ers just made a huge mistake. Trading away Trey Lance, their quarterback of the future, for only a fourth-round pick is a head-scratcher that their fans won’t soon forget.

Breaking Down the Deal

San Francisco drafted Lance third overall just last year, hoping he would eventually take the reins from Jimmy Garoppolo. But after an up-and-down rookie season where Lance flashed potential in limited action, the Niners stunned the NFL by dealing him to Dallas.

Clearly, the 49ers have given up on Lance way too soon. At only 21, the QB has a cannon for an arm and the athleticism to become a star. Did he struggle at times as a rookie? Of course, but what young QB doesn’t? Patrick Mahomes sat for a year. Lamar Jackson took over midseason. Quarterbacks often need time to develop, and now Lance will do that in Dallas instead of San Francisco.

The Cowboys, meanwhile, have to be thrilled. They now have an exciting young signal-caller to build around, and they only gave up a measly fourth-rounder to get him. Lance has a much higher ceiling than Dak Prescott, and while it may take a couple of seasons, his talent could turn Dallas into contenders.

For the 49ers, this will go down as an all-time blunder. They wasted three first-round picks to move up for Lance in 2021, only to trade him away for peanuts a year later. Letting such a prized prospect go so soon will haunt this franchise for years. The Niners had their quarterback of the future—and they let him get away.

Evaluating the Return: Did 49ers Get Enough for Former No. 3 Pick?

The 49ers were clearly eager to move on from the Trey Lance experiment, but did they sell themselves short? Trading the former No. 3 overall pick and supposed quarterback of the future for just a fourth-round

selection seems like a steal for the Cowboys.

Lance only started two games in his rookie season, going 1-1 while Jimmy Garoppolo remained the starter. The 49ers likely grew impatient with Lance’s development and decided to cut their losses early. However, Lance is still just 22 with a high ceiling. While raw, he showcased his impressive physical tools, including a strong arm, mobility, and the ability to throw on the run.

Did the 49ers make a mistake?

It’s certainly possible the 49ers will end up regretting this move. If Lance reaches his potential in Dallas, this will go down as yet another draft day blunder for the 49ers. They passed on Mac Jones, who went on to lead the Patriots to the playoffs as a rookie, to select Lance. Now they’ve given up on him after just one season.

While the 49ers cleared Lance’s contract off their books and gained an additional mid-round pick, good young quarterbacks are hard to find. If Lance blossoms into a star in Dallas, 49ers fans will be left wondering what might have been had the team shown more patience in developing their quarterback of the future. The 49ers may have avoided a messy QB controversy by choosing Garoppolo, but only time will tell if trading Lance was the right move for the franchise.

What This Means for the 49ers’ QB Situation Going Forward

What This Means for the 49ers’ QB Situation Going Forward

With Trey Lance now in Dallas, the 49ers are left with a gaping hole at the quarterback position. The team had clearly been grooming Lance to take over from Jimmy Garoppolo, but now those plans have been thrown out the window. The Niners front office made a risky move trading up to draft Lance 3rd overall in 2021, and now that investment has gone to waste.

San Francisco will likely have to find a new QB solution in the 2022 NFL draft or roll with Garoppolo again next season as a stop-gap. Garoppolo is a serviceable starter but has obvious limitations and durability issues. He’s not the long-term answer, so the 49ers need to get back to the drawing board. Some potential options in the upcoming draft include Kenny Pickett, Matt Corral or Desmond Ridder. Any of these prospects would likely need at least a year to get up to speed, however.

The 49ers had hoped Lance would be ready to take the reins this season after learning behind Garoppolo as a rookie. That plan has been derailed, leaving the team’s quarterback situation unsettled. San Francisco was likely counting on Lance’s athleticism, arm talent and high ceiling to help get them over the hump in an ultra-competitive NFC West division. Now they’ll have to find another solution to compete with the likes of the Rams, Cardinals and Seahawks.

Trading your quarterback of the future for a measly fourth-round pick is a tough pill to swallow. The 49ers front office made a calculated risk in drafting Lance, but their gamble did not pay off. How the team recovers from this setback will define their success for years to come. The 2022 season and beyond looks murky at best without a clear answer at the game’s most important position.


So there you have it, faithful 49ers fans. Your once promising franchise quarterback of the future is now headed to Dallas to backup Dak Prescott, all because of a shortsighted move by the 49ers front office.

They severely mishandled Lance from the start and now you’re left wondering what could have been. But don’t dwell on the past – there’s still a season ahead and Jimmy G is capable of leading this team back to the playoffs, even if the Super Bowl feels further away than ever.

The only thing left to do now is pick up the pieces, rally behind Garoppolo, and hope Lance doesn’t come back to haunt you twice a year for the next decade. The Niners had their guy, but now the future in Dallas looks brighter than ever. Talk about an all-time backfire.

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