Trey Lance trade cost the Cowboys a perfect Michael Gallup replacement

Oct 8, 2023; Santa Clara, California, USA; Dallas Cowboys quarterback Trey Lance (15) jogs off of
Oct 8, 2023; Santa Clara, California, USA; Dallas Cowboys quarterback Trey Lance (15) jogs off of / Darren Yamashita-USA TODAY Sports

The Dallas Cowboys have redeemed themselves after an inactive start to free agency by stealing linebacker Eric Kendricks from the rival 49ers and re-signing cornerback Jourdan Lewis

Still, they’ve left a ton of meat on the bone. A trade a la the Brandin Cooks or Stephon Gilmore deals from last March would certainly spice things up. It also seemed a Trey Lance trade was put on a tee for the Cowboys after Kirk Cousins signed with the Falcons. The move left the Vikings in dire straits at quarterback.

Sending Lance home to Minnesota felt like a win-win, but that's likely a pipe dream after the Vikings acquired an additional first-round pick in the 2024 Draft. They now have the No. 11 and No. 23 overall picks, which gives them the necessary ammo to trade up for a quarterback.

The Lance trade has backfired quickly on the Cowboys and it looks even worse after a recent blockbuster trade. Late Thursday, the Chargers shockingly dealt WR Keenan Allen to the Bears for a 2024 fourth-round pick.

Trading for Trey Lance cost the Cowboys the opportunity to acquire Keenan Allen

Answer this, Cowboys fans: Would you rather have Trey Lance or Keenan Allen? The obvious answer is Allen, who went for the same exact price as Lance. The wide receiver position pales in comparison to quarterback in terms of importance, but we can't help but wonder why Dallas traded for Lance in the first place.

Given the cost, nominal risk and overall upside, the deal received universal praise. However, that implied the Cowboys had a plan for Lance. While they could still flip the former No. 3 overall pick for a day three selection, they might (should!) have buyer's remorse after the Chargers traded Allen for the same price.

The Cowboys aren't necessarily desperate for a WR, but they need to add somebody after Michael Gallup got released on Friday. Jalen Tolbert hasn't done anything to be handed the WR3 role and Brandin Cooks is entering his age-31 season and his 657 receiving yards in 2023 were less than what he logged two years ago in a lowly Texans offense and in three fewer games.

Allen has an $18.1 million base salary and a $34.7 million cap hit in 2024, but a simple restructure would allow the Cowboys to navigate that.

There's room for improvement in Dallas' WR room. Hindsight is obviously 20/20, but it's frustrating to think the Cowboys could've had Allen if they didn't trade for Lance, who wasn't active for a single game last season and likely won't be with the team in 2025 considering his fifth-year option costs $22.4 million.

It seems Dallas might have outsmarted itself by trading for Lance.

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