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Report: Cowboys to decline fifth-year option on ex-49ers QB Lance

Report: Cowboys to decline fifth-year option on ex-49ers QB Lance originally appeared on NBC Sports Bay Area

Former 49ers quarterback Trey Lance still faces an uncertain NFL future, but one thing about his tumultuous journey became more clear Wednesday.

The Dallas Cowboys will decline to pick up the fifth-year option on Lance’s contract for 2025, ESPN’s Todd Archer reported, citing a source, noting that picking up the option would have cost Dallas a fully-guaranteed $22.4 million.

The 49ers drafted Lance No. 3 overall in the 2021 NFL Draft, and his tenure with San Francisco was marred by injuries before being cut short by Brock Purdy’s ascension as a starter. Before the start of the 2023 NFL regular season, the 49ers traded Lance to the Cowboys for a 2024 fourth-round draft pick, which the team used to select safety Malik Mustapha at No. 124 overall last week.

Lance appeared in just eight games (four starts) over two seasons with the 49ers, and he arrived in Dallas immediately behind Dak Prescott and Cooper Rush on the depth chart. The 23-year-old was inactive for all 17 of the Cowboys’ games during the 2023 NFL season, and now he’ll compete with Rush for the Dallas backup job this summer.

Between the coronavirus pandemic and injuries, Lance last played substantial snaps in 2019 for North Dakota State. But he isn’t the only quarterback from the 2021 draft class to struggle — the only one of that group to have his fifth-year option picked up was Jacksonville Jaguars star Trevor Lawrence, the No. 1 overall pick.

Despite Lance’s bad luck so far, his former 49ers teammate Trent Williams said in October that he believes the young quarterback will find his way back into a starting role.

“I don’t have a crystal ball,” Williams told NBC Sports Bay Area’s Matt Maiocco, “but I think in this league when you do the right things and you’re made of the right stuff, eventually opportunity will find its way back to you.

“And I think that will happen in Trey’s case. And when it does, we’ll all see the talent everybody knows that’s inside of him.”

The clock certainly is ticking on Lance’s window of opportunity. And while it feels like every summer has been make-or-break for Lance, he certainly has something to prove going into the 2024 season.

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