Fans of the San Francisco 49ers were disappointed by the outcome of Week 1, as the team blew a 10-0 lead and lost to the Chicago Bears on the road, 19-10, after a lackluster performance by new starting quarterback Trey Lance.
But the first Sunday of the regular season was infinitely worse for the Dallas Cowboys.
Suddenly, the Cowboys have gone from being perhaps the favorites to win the NFC East to having a strong possibility of missing the playoffs.
Cooper Rush will take over under center for them, but he’s not exactly a reliable option, as he has thrown just 63 passes over his five-year NFL career.
Suddenly, speculation began that Dallas may be interested in trading for Jimmy Garoppolo, the 49ers’ former starting quarterback whom the team announced would be staying in the Bay as Lance’s backup this season.
Are the Cowboys a potential trade destination for Jimmy Garoppolo? I'm sure the 49ers will check in. Or the Cowboys will check in. And of course Garoppolo has a no-trade clause. Also: Garoppolo has a lot of value to the 49ers as QB2. We shall see.
— Tim Kawakami (@timkawakami) September 12, 2022
Although head coach Kyle Shanahan didn’t confirm those rumors, he didn’t exactly shoot them down either, telling the media that they “will listen to anybody on anything.”
Kyle Shanahan on whether Cowboys QB Dak Prescott's injury potentially opens up a trade avenue for Jimmy Garoppolo: "Just like all players, we’ll listen to anybody on anything. That never changes for any player or coach." #49ers
— Ron Kroichick (@ronkroichick) September 12, 2022
It’s certainly understandable that the Cowboys may be interested in Garoppolo, but such a deal wouldn’t be a good idea for San Francisco.
The 49ers Need Garoppolo, At Least For Now
Lance didn’t play well on Sunday, but it is way too early to call him a bust.
The truth is, no one knows at this point how good (or bad) he will turn out to be as a full-time NFL quarterback.
Until Lance establishes himself as a good or even a great signal-caller, an insurance policy is needed, and Garoppolo is an incredible insurance policy for Lance and the 49ers.
The 30-year-old veteran has a lifetime record of 33-14 as a starter and 31-14 as the starting QB for San Francisco.
He has taken the team to two NFC Championship Games in the last three years, as well as to the Super Bowl in the 2019 campaign.
Apparently, the thinking behind promoting Lance over Garoppolo is the latter has shown that while he’s very good, he doesn’t have that next-level ability to get the 49ers their sixth world championship.
If Lance struggles for an extended period of time, Shanahan could go back to Garoppolo, at least temporarily, to ensure his team makes the playoffs and has a shot at the NFC West title.
Garoppolo Would Be A One-Year Rental For Dallas
If the Cowboys were to trade for Garoppolo, it would have to give up an asset or two for a man who is now in the final year of his contract.
He would start for them until sometime in early November, at which point he would be in the same situation he’s in now for the Niners – a second-string QB.
When Garoppolo becomes a free agent next spring, would he really consider re-signing with the Cowboys and merely being a QB2?
He is way too good and skilled to be relegated to a backup quarterback spot beyond this season.
Besides, the Cowboys aren’t a Super Bowl contender, therefore, any assets they would give up for Garoppolo would essentially evaporate and gain them nothing more than a playoff spot and perhaps one playoff victory this winter.
Unless they want to give up assets for that type of minimal gain, their only choice is to ride out the storm until Prescott is able to return.