Trey Lance

McCarthy states Lance off to ‘great' Cowboys start after 49ers trade

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Just over a month has passed since the 49ers traded quarterback Trey Lance to the Dallas Cowboys, and the former first-round draft pick appears to be settling in with his new team just fine.

Cowboys coach Mike McCarthy spoke with "The Rich Eisen Show" on Friday and provided an update on the 23-year-old, who is third on the Dallas quarterback depth chart behind starter Dak Prescott and backup Cooper Rush.

"Obviously, his athletic ability speaks for itself," McCarthy told Eisen. "I've just been so impressed with the young man. He's got an excellent, excellent work ethic. Every offense is different, and he's going through the transition as far as the reads and the footwork.

"But he's off to a really good start. He's a great fit for us."

The 49ers moved on from Lance last month after trading up to select him No. 3 overall in the 2021 NFL Draft. He was named starter last season before breaking his ankle in Week 2, and a subsequent injury to Jimmy Garoppolo cleared the way for Brock Purdy's ascension.

When Lance learned during training camp that veteran Sam Darnold would be Purdy's backup this season, he requested to be traded rather than stay on as San Francisco's third-string option. And while Lance now is in the same position with the Cowboys, it hasn't stopped chatter that his arrival in Dallas signaled the beginning of the end for Prescott.

McCarthy explained that's not the case.

"Dak is the lead dog in our room -- there's no question about that," McCarthy told Eisen. "Trey's a young guy with a lot of talent that we're going to have to continue to develop to fit our system. ... There's nothing internally that takes me away from the focus of Dak Prescott being our lead guy."

Dallas got off to a hot 2-0 start this season before falling to the Arizona Cardinals in Week 3, with Prescott telling reporters after the game that "the media got what it wanted." But it's clear Prescott remains the guy in the building as he seeks to finally play in an NFC Championship Game for the first time in his career.

Lance will return to Levi's Stadium for the first time since he was traded when the Cowboys visit the 49ers in Week 5 for a highly anticipated "Sunday Night Football" matchup between the longtime rivals. And though he'll be on the sideline, Lance is sure to receive a warm "welcome back" from the 49ers Faithful.

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