Now that he’s a Dallas Cowboy, Trey Lance is about to graduate into an accelerated quarterback program, getting masters-level tutelage from two-time Pro Bowler and Walter Payton NFL Man of the Year Dak Prescott.
Call it a continuation of the invaluable lessons he learned this spring alongside two-time Super Bowl MVP and reigning No. 1 player in the NFL Top 100, Patrick Mahomes.
Lance spent a chunk of April working out- in Dallas, no less- with the former Texas Tech star and their shared quarterbacks coach, Jeff Christensen.
The focus was on Lance’s mechanics, which became an issue after the third overall pick in 2021’s draft broke a finger on this throwing hand during his rookie campaign in San Francisco.
After spending four days figuring out the crux of Lance’s delivery problem, Christensen encouraged him to stand behind Mahomes to watch throws from last year’s passing yards and touchdowns leader.
“I said, ‘Watch this. Watch what he does here,’” Christensen recounted to The Athletic back in May. “It was something I was telling him to do that he wasn’t quite doing. And then he saw Patrick apply it perfectly. And I think that visual buy-in, that mental buy-in, helped him past that mental hump. And to his credit, he just kept getting better.”
Better accuracy, increased spin, shorter delivery time, less arm soreness afterward. Lance’s short time with Mahomes produced all of that; Christensen called every day a “substantial jump.”
But the youngster took away much more than just the nuts and bolts of an improved throwing motion.
“Being able to be around Patrick was awesome,” Lance said during 49ers OTAs. “Just picking his brain, learning about just the type of guy he is, how he spends his free time, offseason, and then more about his in-season schedule as well. … I learned a ton.”
Christensen brought the two together, he said, because Lance reminded him of the two-time first-team All-Pro in terms of competitiveness and demeanor.
“He really fit right in,” the longtime QB coach said of the 23-year-old North Dakota State product. “Pat really thinks the world of him. He’s just a really good person, conscientious. He wants to be great. And he’s one of the few kids whose actions match his words. He backs it up. He shows up every day, and he wants to learn. And that’s why I teach him.”
Reports out of San Francisco’s training camp pointed to noted improvements over where Lance was one year prior. But 49ers head coach Kyle Shanahan and GM John Lynch both alluded to the team being in “win-now” mode, suggesting that Lance still needs more development.
They believed, apparently, it would require more than they were willing to invest this season.
So now Lance’s ongoing education will enter a new phase with the Cowboys under Prescott.