The Dallas Renegades, this season, were the paper favorites to win it all. However, in their first season, the team was underwhelming in many areas. Due to the coaching staff and players brought in, the Renegades had many experts believing they’d win it all.
Despite an injury to starting quarterback Landry Jones, media outlets everywhere said Dallas had the talent and coaching to outlast anyone. But, in the end, the team was very lackluster. Philip Nelson was a starter in Jones’ place but seemed afraid to go through his progressions in his first start. Highly-touted receiver Jazz Ferguson was nowhere near worthy of his hype, and the Renegades running game stood out more than anything. Not even the “Air Raid” seemed worthy of the hype this season.
Due to the virus shortening the season, the Renegades also finished below .500. Making matters worse, the Renegades switched offensive coordinators after Hal Mumme was too injured to continue to call the plays. With that, it seemed as though Dallas was facing serious adversity. Mumme was injured after being hit accidentally in a play while on the sidelines, Jones was injured again, it was going downhill fast. Regardless, the Renegades season was entertaining in spite of these ups and downs:
The Renegades left football fans in the DFW with a fun alternative to the NFL. Yes, it is similar to college football, yes there are subtle rule differences and crowd size differences. But, having a second football league and the team can only benefit the athletes. In Dallas, the Cowboys viewed the Renegades as their younger brother of the sport. The players would come out to support the Renegades, and some even tried to encourage their brothers across the parking lot.
With that, it brings to mind one scenario: The Dallas Cowboys keeping an eye on the talent. Expanding on that, the talent now has a chance to hone their skills and still make it to the NFL. Donald Parham, Jeff Badet, Cameron Artis-Payne, and Lance Dunbar showed out this season. Not only that, but so did the majority of the Dallas defense. With some players keeping their eye on their friends, the underestimated players have a chance to find their way to the NFL by word of mouth. This is great for players who were previously written off.
To judge the Renegades based on five games is a bit of a tall task. We know what Dallas can do defensively, but we don’t know if they are worthy of the hype. We know that the guys on defense can go toe-to-toe with anyone. And, we definitely don’t see proof that they can succeed under pressure.
Bob Stoops is definitely an Oklahoma University guy. The bond that Stoops had with quarterback Landry Jones did not make a difference – though an injury to Jones shut the door on that development. The talent was just not there for the “Air Raid” style offense, and more emphasis should be placed on the running game. The “Air Raid” works if you have the talent; a team will also score fast with the right mix of players. But, in the end, controlling the clock will control the game.
In terms of ugly, a few things fit in here. When you have the passing game the Renegades supposedly have, one doesn’t expect the slow starts to happen so much. No matter the quarterback, inaccuracy was apparent. Jones, the starting quarterback, had close to the same completion percentage as Nelson. Should either even be starting? Defense for the Renegades was also sketchy at best. While the players on defense were decent at stopping the pass, they often were left chasing the opponent’s run game.
In all honesty, the team has many questions that need answers next season. Will the offensive game plan change to match the talent? It needs to. Donald Parham was the Renegades’ best player, maybe even the most consistent. Flynn Nagel and Jeff Badet also need more targets. The quarterback needs a bit of retooling as well. If Jones and Nelson are underperforming, find another player. Eric Dungey did not play a single down. Dungey, Jones, and Nelson need to have more of a competition to start.
How do you feel about the sampling of the Dallas Renegades in 2020? Leave a comment below.
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