Trey Lance trade grade: Cowboys make head-scratching move to bail out 49ers

The Cowboys and 49ers are competing for who can look more silly.
49ers quarterback Trey Lance
49ers quarterback Trey Lance / Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

The Dallas Cowboys may be playing 4-D chess. It's just not clear who they're actually playing against.

On Friday, Jerry Jones and company shocked the NFL by agreeing to send a fourth-round pick to the San Francisco 49ers for third-string quarterback Trey Lance.

Adam Schefter reported the news, and yes, we triple-checked to verify that's the Adam Schefter and not a joke account. The Cowboys are doing this.

49ers-Cowboys Trey Lance trade grade: But why?

Trey Lance Trade

The Cowboys are clearly looking for some insurance for Dak Prescott by adding Trey Lance. They see Lance as a talent who can develop behind an established starter. If something happens to Prescott, or he proves incapable of bringing a Super Bowl to Dallas, they can pivot to the former No. 3 overall pick.

If it works out, Jerry Jones and company will look like geniuses who found an eject button for Prescott while only giving up a fourth-round draft pick.

But right now, they look like complete idiots.

The 49ers chose Sam Darnold over Lance to be their backup. They effectively gave up on a quarterback they traded up to get at No. 3. That should tell the Cowboys something!

If Dallas wasn't convinced by Cooper Rush as a backup for Prescott — this is the part we remind you that Rush is 5-1 as an NFL starter — they could have just signed someone like Darnold in the offseason.

A fourth-round pick isn't much, that's the only reason this isn't a complete fail. But it's not like the Cowboys couldn't have used a fourth-round pick to draft someone who could contribute to a Super Bowl run.

Instead, they gave the pick away while undermining Prescott's place as their franchise quarterback.

Cowboys trade grade: D

The 49ers don't deserve much credit here. They traded three first-round picks to get Lance in the first place. That's etched in stone as one of the dumbest draft moves in history now that they've shipped him away for a Day 3 pick.

But they turned a third-string quarterback into a fourth-round pick after they signaled to the whole of the NFL that they had zero use for him. So they don't come out of this specific trade feeling all too shabby. It's the baggage that holds them back.

49ers trade grade: C

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