If you haven't heard, the Dallas Cowboys were silent at the trade deadline. The craziest part? Respected team reporters actually defended the lack of movement. We've heard excuses ranging from "this isn't fantasy football" to "Dallas made their moves months ago" when they traded for Brandin Cooks and Stephon Gilmore.
So, the San Francisco 49ers are just playing fantasy football then? The 49ers made moves months ago, too, and still went out and traded for Chase Young. They recognized the Commanders were in firesale mode after they dealt DE Montez Sweat to Chicago and jumped all over an opportunity to add to their pass rush, which we all know plays a huge role in playoff success.
Nobody's arguing that the Cowboys should have traded for Young. Dan Quinn has plenty of pass rushers at his disposal. That said, the 49ers aren't lacking in that regard and they kept their foot on the gas to upgrade their stable while Dallas did nothing.
To rub salt in Dallas' wound, San Francisco upgraded at an excellent price, as they traded a 2024 third-round compensatory pick (!) for Young.
Chase Young trade details show why Cowboys are lagging behind 49ers
This is some 3D chess by general manager John Lynch. The 49ers are projected to attain a third-round comp pick for losing offensive tackle Mike McGlinchey in free agency and another third-round comp pick for the losses of former executive Ran Carthon, who's now the GM of the Titans, and former defensive coordinator DeMeco Ryans, who was hired as the Texans new head coach.
One of those thirds will go to Washington for Young. But it doesn't end there. A pending unrestricted free agent after this season, the 49ers are poised to net a 2025 compensatory third-round pick for Young if he walks and has a big finish to the year. Essentially, San Fran moved a comp pick back a year for a half-season of Young.
That, my friends, is how you wheel and deal at the trade deadline. As much as the 49ers would like to extend Young, they already have big money committed on their defensive front. They gave DT Javon Hargrave a four-year, $84 million contract in March and made Nick Bosa the highest-paid defensive player in NFL history.
It's nearly impossible to pay three defensive linemen big-time money, though the 49ers can certainly afford it being that QB Brock Purdy will make a combined $2.085 million over the final two years of his rookie deal in 2024 and 2025.
Young is well on his way to inking a handsome contract given he's tied for 10th in the NFL in pass-rush win rate (25%) and tied for eighth with 38 pressures. Even if he's not re-signed, the 49ers got a former No. 2 overall pick in the form of his career to help spark a deep playoff run for a pick they'll likely recoup two years down the road anyway.
Yes, the 49ers have dominated the Cowboys physically in their last three meetings and likely have a psychological edge over Dallas, but it's savvy, aggressive moves like the Chase Young trade that further hammer home why the Cowboys haven't been able to exorcise their San Francisco demons.
Good teams settle. Great ones go that extra mile to keep improving.