Trey Lance traded by San Francisco 49ers to Dallas Cowboys

Aug 25, 2023, 5:04 PM

Trey Lance #5 of the San Francisco 49ers looks to pass during the second half of a preseason game a...

Trey Lance #5 of the San Francisco 49ers looks to pass during the second half of a preseason game against the Denver Broncos at Levi's Stadium on August 19, 2023 in Santa Clara, California. (Photo by Loren Elliott/Getty Images)

(Photo by Loren Elliott/Getty Images)

SANTA CLARA, Calif. — The San Francisco 49ers have traded quarterback Trey Lance to the Dallas Cowboys less than three years after trading three first-round picks to draft him.

A person familiar with the situation said the Cowboys will send a fourth-round pick to San Francisco for a player drafted third overall in 2021. The person spoke on condition of anonymity because the deal hasn’t been announced.

ESPN first reported the trade.

Lance had lost the competition to San Darnold to be the backup to Brock Purdy in San Francisco earlier in the week, setting the stage for his departure.

The move is a remarkable backtrack following the hefty investment the Niners made in hopes of Lance becoming a franchise quarterback.

San Francisco traded three first-round picks and a third-rounder to Miami in 2021 to move up from No. 12 and draft the untested Lance third overall.

Lance started only 17 games at FCS-level North Dakota State before the Niners drafted him, and he never got much of a chance to gain the experience he needed in the NFL.

He spent his rookie season backing up Jimmy Garoppolo, starting just two games as an injury replacement and being hampered by a finger injury on his throwing hand.

Lance was handed the starting job last season, but that lasted less than five quarters as he broke his ankle early in Week 2 and was sidelined for the rest of the season.

Purdy, taken with the last draft pick in 2022, came on late in the season and won his first seven starts to take over the starting role headed into this season.

San Francisco signed Darnold in free agency after he flamed out with the Jets and Carolina after also being drafted third overall in 2018 by New York. Darnold ended up doing enough in practices and the first two preseason games to beat out Lance.

Lance has completed 56 of 102 passes in his brief NFL career for 797 yards, five TDs, three interceptions and an 84.5 passer rating. He also has rushed for 235 yards and one TD on 54 carries.

Lance got off to a shaky start this preseason but did lead two late scoring drives after coming on in relief of Purdy and Darnold the second half last week against Denver.

Lance’s four starts will be the fewest for any quarterback taken in the top five of the draft in the common draft era for the team he made his debut. Jack Thompson had the previous low after starting five games for Cincinnati after being taken third overall in 1979.

The Cowboys now get a look at Lance, who is owed $940,000 this year and is guaranteed $5.3 million next season in the final year of his rookie deal.

Cooper Rush has been the backup most of Dak Prescott’s career in Dallas, including last season when he went 4-1 filling in after Prescott broke his thumb in the opener.

The trade appears to be the end of the line for Will Grier, who has been the third-stringer the past two seasons without appearing in a game.

General News

Europe's Rory Mcilroy, center, goes to shake hands with United States' Patrick Cantlay 's caddie Jo...

Associated Press

McIlroy furious following loss to Americans at Ryder Cup

Rory McIlroy accused Patrick Cantlay’s caddie, Joe LaCava, of waving his hat in his line of vision ahead of the star’s putt on the 18th.

3 days ago

Bo Nix...

Associated Press

Pac-12 teams well represented in top 10 of AP college football rankings

The Ducks' blowout of Sanders' Colorado team knocked the Buffaloes all the way out of the AP Top 25 from No. 19.

9 days ago


Associated Press

Usher will perform at halftime of Super Bowl LVIII in Las Vegas

The NFL, Apple Music and Roc Nation announced Sunday that Usher would lead the halftime festivities from Allegiant Stadium on Feb. 11.

9 days ago

Phoenix Country Club...

Arizona Sports

62nd annual Goldwater Cup returns to Phoenix Country Club this weekend

The Goldwater Cup pits 12 players from the Arizona Golf Association against 12 players from the Southwest Section of the PGA.

11 days ago

United States' Phil Mickelson waits to play on the 17th tee on the first day of the British Open Go...

Associated Press

ASU alumnus Phil Mickelson takes to social media, admits he’s addicted to gambling

Phil Mickelson won't be betting on football this year, saying in a lengthy social media post Monday that he crossed the line into addiction.

14 days ago

Aaron Rodgers...

Arizona Sports

Reports: Jets QB Aaron Rodgers suffered Achilles injury in debut

Aaron Rodgers was knocked out of the game with an Achilles tendon injury just four plays into his debut for the New York Jets.

21 days ago

Trey Lance traded by San Francisco 49ers to Dallas Cowboys