(News4usonline) – The newest addition to the Dallas Cowboys quarterback room may never start another game in the NFL. A fourth-round pick was all it cost to get Trey Lance in a shocking depreciation of value just two years after being the third overall pick.
The San Francisco 49ers trading up to select Lance is now one of the worst draft-day moves in NFL history. At least for now, the Niners didn’t get what they thought they were getting. San Francisco surrendered to Miami their first-round picks in 2021, 2022, and 2023, as well as a third in 2022, to take a player they thought would be their franchise quarterback.
It didn’t happen that way. The Dolphins essentially turned those picks into Tyreek Hill, Jaylen Waddle, and Bradley Chubb through trades and the draft, further showing how lopsided the deal ended up being. Lance has only started six games in the NFL, the least number of starts by any quarterback selected in the top five since 2000. JaMarcus Russell is second on the list with 25 starts to his name.
It appears Lance’s career as a franchise quarterback might be over before he gets a real opportunity to show what his game is all about.
“I’m kinda really trying to move on. It definitely took some time, and that conversation (being named 3rd string) obviously wasn’t something I wanted to hear, but that’s the reality of the situation… for me, it was kind of trying to figure out what’s next and what’s gonna happen in the future,” said Lance following the trade.
Now that Lance is on a new team that already has a seasoned signal caller, it is unlikely he will ever get a legitimate chance to win a starting job. His best opportunity to start was on the team that gave up all that draft capital to get him.
Making the situation even more frustrating for Lance, his two starts last year had a lot of things going on outside of his control. First, there was a game that took place during a monsoon. That was followed by a start against the Seattle Seahawks in which he broke his ankle after one pass attempt.
“I’m excited about the acquisition. Obviously, he is a young man who was highly sought after in all organizations. He is coming to a damn good football team, a great locker room, and an outstanding quarterback room,” said Dallas head coach Mike McCarthy.
Time will tell if Lance gets a chance to prove he was worth the early first-round grade coming out of college. He was considered a raw prospect that would take time to develop, making it somewhat confusing that he got such a short leash as a starter.
In the case of the 49ers, they felt it was time to rip off the bandaid as they found Brock Purdy, with the last pick in the draft, to be their replacement. The Cowboys will use Lance as a project they feel can develop behind starter Dak Prescott.
“He gives us an opportunity to do what we would always like to be doing. It would be ideal with Dak to have a young, developing quarterback to be in the room and be on the team with him. This gives Trey an opportunity to take what he got in San Francisco and also take from one of the finest quarterback rooms there is because Dak Prescott is in it. Dak Prescott’s finest quality to me is how he takes what he does in the classroom and takes it to the practice field… We didn’t waste any time. The minute we knew they were serious about trading him, we didn’t want the phone to hang up,” said Cowboys owner Jerry Jones.
No one doubts the rushing ability or the arm strength Trey Lance possesses. Learning how to prepare for a game from a Pro-Bowl caliber quarterback could be what the young player needs to take his game to the heights many expected it to reach.
“That is a first-round talent, and you are always trying to make your team better. We are gonna welcome him as we do any teammate. Hopefully, he makes us better, and we are gonna continue to get back at it knowing we have one goal as a team,” said Dak Prescott.
It would be surprising if Lance starts a football game this season, as it would likely take significant injuries to the players ahead of him. Following the trade, Lance is no longer a cornerstone piece for the franchise, which could be what Lance needed. The pressure of living up to being the team’s third pick is now off his shoulders, and Lance can focus on getting better one day at a time.
“I’m definitely looking forward to being here and getting to know the guys and the coaching staff, and this fresh start definitely feels great,” said Lance.
Benjamin Verbrugge is a student at CSU Dominguez Hill studying journalism. “Sports have brought me much joy throughout my life, and I want to be able to give a little back to something that has meant so much to me. I grew up in Los Angeles primarily following the Lakers and Dodgers, but I am also an avid fan of sporting events, news, and stories in general.”