The Dallas Renegades are primed to be one of the top teams in the inaugural season of the XFL. They were selected to finish second in the league by CBSSports.com. Head coach Bob Stoops spent 18 seasons at Oklahoma winning a national championship in 2000 and 10 conference titles along the way. He is known for being a defensive mastermind and hiring offensive coordinators known for passing heavy, explosive offense so we should expect similar things from his Renegades.
In the quarterback room, we have Landry Jones. The career backup spent the majority of his career behind Ben Roethlisberger with the Pittsburgh Steelers. The XFL blocked the Steelers from signing Jones after Roethlisberger was injured in September. In slightly ironic fashion, Jones was injured during training camp and his backup Philip Nelson will be the starting QB until Jones is healthy. Nelson is familiar with this type of minor league football as he started 3 games for the San Diego Fleet in the AAF last year.
The Renegades are led by some strong skill position players. At running back, we have Cameron Artis-Payne, a former All-SEC RB at Auburn, who started in 3 games for the Carolina Panthers. The expected number one wide receiver is expected to be Jeff Badet. Badet spent three years with the Kentucky Wildcats, and one at Oklahoma with Stoops’ successor, Lincoln Riley. The number receiver Freddie Marino has spent time on multiple NFL practice squads and with the Arizona Hotshots of the AAF.
The Dallas Renegades beat the St. Louis Battlehawks in their final preseason scrimmage. In a back and forth game, the Renegades won 25 to 22 in overtime. Nelson threw for two Touchdowns and running back Marquis Young ran in a 1-yard touchdown. The Renegades open their season this Sunday, February 9th against the same Battlehawks. The game will be broadcast live on ESPN at 5pm.