Trey Lance

Trey Lance broke into ‘big smile' when 49ers traded him to Cowboys

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Whether it was a sense of joy, excitement, relief or all of the above, former 49ers quarterback Trey Lance was in high spirits when he learned the 49ers traded him to the Dallas Cowboys on Friday night.

At the time, Lance was preparing to play in San Francisco’s preseason finale against the Los Angeles Chargers at Levi’s Stadium. He was around teammates when he heard the news.

"I really tried to not expect anything one way or another, but I can say that when I heard it was the Cowboys, I had a big smile on my face," Lance told reporters in Dallas on Tuesday. "I'm very excited to be here. … I believe that everything happens for a reason. I believe I'm here for a reason and, regardless of what it is, I'm here to try and find a way to help this team."

The 49ers received a fourth-round draft pick in exchange for Lance, who they paid a significant price to trade up and select in the 2021 NFL Draft.

Lance started four games for San Francisco over two seasons. Due to injuries, bad timing and other circumstances, he lost the franchise quarterback role to Mr. Irrelevant Brock Purdy and lost the backup role in training camp to Sam Darnold.

When Darnold was made the 49ers' backup quarterback last week, Lance being moved seemed like a strong possibility. San Francisco didn't have to wait long for a team to offer a package significant enough to move on from Lance.

Now, the 23-year-old quarterback joins the Cowboys’ quarterbacks room led by veteran Dak Prescott. Cooper Rush, who went 4-1 as a fill-in starter last season, is the backup. Lance, just like he would have been in San Francisco, will be the third-string quarterback. But he's looking forward to a fresh start.

Playing behind a veteran like Prescott will ease the transition.

"He welcomed me with open arms," Lance said of Prescott. "... It meant a lot to me. This business is crazy but, for me, I'm not looking forward — at all. I'm just trying to take it one day at a time. This guy has played at a very high level for a long time so, obviously, just tons of respect for him, as I think he deserves and gets from across the league. 

"I'm just trying to learn everything I possibly can from him." 

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