Biggest winners, losers from 49ers trade of Trey Lance to Cowboys

It'll be interesting to see if Trey Lance winds up being a winner or a loser after being traded to Dallas.
San Francisco 49ers quarterback Trey Lance (L) and head coach Kyle Shanahan (R)
San Francisco 49ers quarterback Trey Lance (L) and head coach Kyle Shanahan (R) / Thearon W. Henderson/GettyImages
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The aftermath of the 49ers' trade of Trey Lance to the Cowboys will linger for a long time, but there are some clear winners and losers already.

There are a number of yet-to-be-determined X-factors that'll ultimately decide how the San Francisco 49ers' attempt to turn Trey Lance into a franchise quarterback, only to fail at that and trade him away to the Dallas Cowboys, will be looked back upon.

For now, though, that 2021 trade-up to No. 3 overall in the NFL Draft to select Lance has to go down as one of, if not the worst trades in franchise history. Perhaps one of the worst draft trades in the modern football era.

And how the Niners handled Lance, from trying to sprinkle him in on various packages his rookie year (a process that was halted after only a few short weeks) to not being patient enough in developing the awfully raw prospect, will also go down as a massive stain on the current regime of head coach Kyle Shanahan and general manager John Lynch.

But are they ultimately losers for it?

Well, yes. Yes, they are. And they kick off Niner Noise's list of post-Lance trade winners and losers.

San Francisco 49ers, Kyle Shanahan, John Lynch
San Francisco 49ers head coach Kyle Shanahan (L) and general manager John Lynch (R) / Michael Zagaris/GettyImages

Loser: 49ers head coach Kyle Shanahan, general manager John Lynch

It's a good thing both Lynch and Shanahan have brought a winning pedigree to a San Francisco squad that was the laughingtstock of the league before the two men arrived in 2017. Making it to three NFC Championship games in four years, winning one of them, certainly helps save face for both individuals.

That said, neither looks good in the wake of the Lance debacle, and the failure will prompt reactions like this for years to come:

Hyperbole? Perhaps. But the bigger point is the 49ers are now going to be in those conversations for a very long time, perhaps decades.

Lynch, the face of the trade-up to No. 3 overall that cost the Niners two additional first-round draft picks, plus a third-rounder, and Shanahan for not properly developing Lance. Or, at the very least, not being patient with him after the lofty investment.

Thank goodness for quarterback Brock Purdy, though, right? He might have effectively guaranteed both Shanahan and Lynch their jobs moving forward.