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Cowboys news: Dallas had competition for Trey Lance in the Buffalo Bills

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NFL: NFC Wild Card Playoff-San Francisco 49ers at Dallas Cowboys Kevin Jairaj-USA TODAY Sports

Report: 49ers picked Cowboys’ Trey Lance trade offer over Bills’ - Ali Thanawalla, Yahoo! Sports

It sounds like the Dallas Cowboys weren’t the only ones in the running for Lance.

The Buffalo Bills made an offer to the 49ers for Lance before San Francisco accepted Dallas’ bid, The San Jose Mercury News’ Cam Inman reported, citing a team source.

The 49ers ultimately will acquire a fourth-round draft pick from the Cowboys for Lance, a source confirmed to NBC Sports Bay Area’s Matt Maiocco.

Considering the draft capital the 49ers traded in order to move up to select Lance No. 3 overall in 2021, receiving a Day 3 pick in return isn’t ideal. But at this point, getting anything for Lance, who has barely played in two NFL seasons and lost the backup quarterback battle, is a win for San Francisco.

Lance’s path to playing time in Dallas isn’t clear, and the same could be said if he had been traded to Buffalo. Dak Prescott and Josh Allen are entrenched as starters for the Cowboys and Bills, respectively.

Cowboys' trade for Trey Lance is opportunistic — and straight out of Eagles' playbook - David Helman, FOX Sports

If the Eagles had pulled off this move, everybody would be slobbering all over it. And maybe, Helman writes, "the Cowboys front office got tired of all the high praise for their rivals to the northeast."

As the dust settles and we work to figure out what it all means, the first conclusion is that it feels exactly like something the Philadelphia Eagles would do.

We've seen this for years from Howie Roseman, the general manager in Philadelphia who seizes on any opportunity to exploit a market inefficiency and take a chance on improving his team. That seems to be the gameplan for the Cowboys, who are shipping a fourth-round pick to San Francisco in exchange for Lance, the No. 3 overall pick in the draft just two years ago.

Maybe it's not as juicy a headline, but the real story is plenty interesting. The Cowboys saw a unique opportunity to acquire a rare talent at the game's most important position — and for a low cost. If it works out, Trey Lance becomes a hell of an asset for half a dozen different reasons: gadget player, backup quarterback, trade bait, eventual compensatory pick — perhaps even a starter. If it fails it's a minor footnote, a decision no one should blame them for making.

It's the type of assertive strategy that has helped their division rivals construct two Super Bowl rosters in the last five years — and they'd be smart to keep at it.

Report: Will Grier will play every down Saturday before his departure from Dallas - Charean Williams, NBC Sports

The Cowboys are trying to do right by Grier in this situation.

The Cowboys will keep three quarterbacks on their roster: Dak Prescott, Cooper Rush and Trey Lance. That gives them one of the best quarterback rooms in the league.

It also means the end of the road for Will Grier in Dallas after two seasons.

Team officials spoke to Grier before the deal for Lance went public, according to David Moore of the Dallas Morning News. They informed him the team will release him next week, but he will get to play every down in Saturday’s preseason game against the Raiders.

The final preseason game thus will serve as an audition for Grier with the other 31 teams.

The Cowboys claimed Grier off waivers from the Panthers on Sept. 1, 2021, but he never played a down in two seasons in Dallas. His only career action came in his rookie season of 2019 with Carolina when he started two games and passed for 228 yards and threw four interceptions.

John Lynch: It wasn’t for lack of effort on Trey Lance’s part or our part that it didn’t work- Charean Williams, NBC Sports

Everything from the San Francisco 49ers sounds like Lance was a great player on and off the field.

“We took a shot, and it didn’t work out. We own that. We take accountability for it,” 49ers General Manager John Lynch said on Friday night’s preseason broadcast on NFL Network.

Sam Darnold, a former No. 3 overall pick now on his third team, beat out Lance for the backup job. The 49ers excused Lance from Wednesday’s practice after informing him of his spot on the depth chart. He returned for the walkthrough Thursday and was scheduled to play in the preseason game against the Chargers before the trade a few hours before kickoff.

Lance will start his time in Dallas as the third quarterback behind Dak Prescott and Cooper Rush.

“I think his story is still very much unwritten,” Lynch said. “I’m excited for Trey. Dallas stepped up and really wanted him, and they came after him. I think it’s going to be a great landing spot for him.

Trey Lance traded from 49ers to Cowboys: Grading the deal from both sides - Jeff Howe, The Athletic

What does this move mean for the Cowboys and why?

Trade grade (Cowboys): A

The Cowboys spent a fourth-round pick on a player who just two years ago was the third pick in the draft. No, he hasn’t yet panned out, but the Cowboys clearly believe Lance has a chance to get himself on track.

Another way to look at it is that the 30-year-old Prescott has missed 17 games over the last three seasons. If he goes down again, the Cowboys know they have a more talented quarterback depth chart with Lance and Rush. That’s an important factor for a team that is talented enough to win games on defense as long as the quarterback is efficient enough to distribute the ball to the explosive skill players.

Maybe it doesn’t pan out for Lance in Dallas. But a fourth-round pick for a player who was viewed as a franchise quarterback a very short time ago is an easy call.

Has Dallas found Dak Prescott’s perfect backup? - Staff, The Athletic

Saad Yousuf and Jon Machota weigh in on the trade.

Machota: If Mike McCarthy and company can develop him into a solid backup with starter upside then they got a steal for only a fourth round pick. If it doesn’t work out, it seems like it was worth the gamble at the most important position in the game.

As of today, Dallas would probably hope to go into next season with Prescott as their starter and Lance as their backup. Rush, who turns 30 in November, has been good in that role over the last two years, going 5-1 as a starter. But he doesn’t have the upside of a player like Lance.

Yousuf: The Cowboys trading for Lance is a shrewd move by Jerry Jones and the front office. There’s absolutely no question that this is Prescott’s franchise heading into this season, but Lance’s presence gives the team a quarterback in the room who carries a similar skill set to Prescott, at least more so than Rush.

Rush did an admirable job filling in for Prescott last season, going 4-1 early in the season and keeping Dallas afloat, but he has fairly limited potential in terms of upside. The Cowboys signed Rush to a two-year deal earlier this offseason but they can get out of it after this year, setting up a Prescott-Lance depth chart for the 2024 season.

Why Cowboys' unexpected trade for Trey Lance makes sense: Four ways Dallas can benefit from ex-49ers QB - Jared Dubin,

Dubin points out why the move is a low-risk, high-reward move for Jerry Jones and company, and explains how the Cowboys have been looking for a backup QB for a while now.

Way back at the Senior Bowl, Jerry Jones told reporters that the Cowboys were "committed" to selecting a quarterback in the 2023 draft, and that they should have been committed to selecting one the year before. But when the draft came around, things didn't break right for the Cowboys.

Lance has two years remaining on his rookie deal, with cap hits of $940,000 in 2023 and $5,310,717 in 2024. That's plenty affordable for a backup quarterback. And if it doesn't work out with Lance beyond that, all they gave up was a fourth-rounder. As noted above, teams use picks in that range on players they intend to be backup quarterbacks all the time -- except the player they landed was talented enough to be selected No. 3 overall two years ago and is still just 23 years old.

Trey Lance trade: QB lit up when told of move to Cowboys - Kyle Madsen, Ninerswire

Welcome to Dallas, Trey.

49ers head coach Kyle Shanahan on Friday said quarterback Trey Lance didn’t outright request a trade when the 49ers told him he wouldn’t be their No. 2 QB this year, but he did want an opportunity to go elsewhere with an opportunity to be a backup.

He may not have demanded the team deal him, but general manager John Lynch on Friday in a press conference indicated that there was some excitement from Lance when the 49ers told him they found a deal that would move him to the Dallas Cowboys.

“Kyle and I, when we broke the news to (Lance) today, I saw him light up a little bit,” Lynch said.

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