The Trey Lance trade possibly cost Dallas Cowboys Tony Pollard’s replacement

Somewhere there’s a silver lining to the Dallas Cowboys decision to trade for Trey Lance, but it’s getting more and more difficult to envision what that may be. There is a real possibility the Cowboys spent a 2024 fourth-round draft pick on a player who could be nothing more than a two-year rental who never plays a meaningful snap for them.

If that’s not a tough pill to swallow on its own, then let us rub a little more salt in the wound. Had the Cowboys not traded for Trey Lance, there is a very real possibility they would’ve drafted Tony Pollard’s replacement either in the third round with the 87th overall pick or in the fourth round with the 124th.

Round 3, Pick 87

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Had the Trey Lance trade never happened, things more than likely would’ve turned out differently for the Cowboys in the third round with the 87th overall pick.

There is speculation they were targeting three players; RB MarShawn Lloyd, RB Jaylen Wright, and LB Marist Liufau. They ended up going with the Notre Dame LB, but with that fourth-round pick (124th overall) in their pocket still they probably would’ve went with one of the running backs instead to replace Tony Pollard.

MarShawn Lloyd ended up being drafted a pick later (88th overall) by the Green Bay Packers and Jaylen Wright was taken 120th overall in the fourth round after the Miami Dolphins traded up to draft him. Both players were graded higher by nearly everyone over Marist Liufau, who very likely could’ve still been there for Dallas in the fourth or fifth round.

Round 4, Pick 124

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Okay, let’s say the Cowboys really did have a third-round grade on LB Marist Liufau and still would’ve drafted him 87th overall. Again, had the Trey Lance trade never happened, there still would’ve been some interesting names to select from at RB for the Cowboys at No. 124 in the fourth round.

Running backs Bucky Irving, Will Shipley, Ray Davis, Isaac Guerendo, Braelon Allen, and Audric Estime would’ve all been available for the Dallas Cowboys at No. 124 in the fourth round. The first five ended up going off the board almost immediately in the next 10 picks, Estime lasted until the fifth round (147th overall). All of them could have potentially been Tony Pollard’s replacement.

They say hindsight is 20-20, and it’s true. Had the Cowboys known then what they know now, there’s a very real possibility they never would’ve traded for QB Trey Lance. The fourth-round pick they gave up for him quite possibly cost them Tony Pollard’s replacement in some form.

The choice has already been made. The Cowboys only option is to move forward and hope Trey Lance can somehow rise from the ashes like the Phoenix and prove himself capable of becoming a starting-caliber QB in the league. Whether or not that ends up being in Dallas is still the ultimate mystery, one in which we can only wait and see what happens.


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