Runnin’ & Gunnin’ – Examining the Dallas Renegades in 2020 and Beyond

The Dallas Renegades had a ton of hype coming into the 2020 season. Former Oklahoma Sooner Quarterback Landry Jones reuniting with Legendary Head Coach Bob Stoops made the Dallas an early favorite to win it all. NFL caliber players on both sides of the ball including Running Backs Cameron Artis-Payne & Lance Dunbar, and Safety Derron Smith had the XFL’s Dallas team poised for success. Below I’ll examine Dallas’ 2020 season as a whole, and how this team can bounce back in 2022.

Players Lost to the NFL:

Donald Parham – Signed with the Los Angeles Chargers

Austin Walter – Signed with the San Francisco 49ers (Practice Squad)

Jeff Badet – Signed with the Washington Football Team (Practice Squad)

Willie Beavers – Signed with the Atlanta Falcons (Practice Squad)

Austin MacGinnis – Signed with the Los Angeles Rams (Practice Squad)

Renegades Players who Made an Impact:

Landry Jones – 83/119, 784 Yards, 5 Touchdowns, 7 Interceptions

Cameron Artis-Payne – 47 Rushes, 241 Yards, 2 Touchdowns (4th in Rushing Yards in the XFL)

Lance Dunbar – Combined 300 Rushing and Receiving Yards, 1 Touchdown

Flynn Nagel – 217 Receiving yards, 1 Touchdown & 97 Punt Return Yards

Donald Parham – 43 Receptions, 307 Yards, 4 Touchdowns (3rd in Receiving Yards & 1st among Tight Ends in the XFL)

Josh Hawkins – 2 Interceptions, 4 PBUs (tied for 2nd in Interceptions in the XFL)

Austin Walter – 431 Kick Return Yards (2nd in the XFL)

Austin MacGinnis – 10/10 Field goals (Best in XFL)

(Credit: ARLINGTON, TX – MARCH 01: Dallas Renegades tight end Donald Parham (49) caches a pass during the game between the Dallas Renegades and the Houston Roughnecks on March 1, 2020 at Globe Life Park in Arlington. Texas. (Photo by Matthew Pearce/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)

Here’s what to Look Forward to:

Despite a 2-3 record, the Renegades showed some promise, particularly on the offensive side of the ball. The Pro style Offense put in place by Coach Bob Stoops had the Renegades dishing out over 327 Offensive Yards per game. Their 236 Passing Yards per game ranked 3rd in the XFL in 2020. Dallas showed they were no slouch in the run game as they finished 1st in the XFL with 4.82 Yards per Rush. No doubt about it, the Renegades built a top level Offense to compete with the rest of the league. The Renegades also boasted an XFL best 77.8% in 4th down efficiency.

Dallas’ Special Teams unit turned out to be elite this Spring. Kick Returner / Running Back Austin Walter finished 2nd in the XFL in Kick Return Yards. Punt Returner / Wide Receiver Flynn Nagel finished 2nd in the XFL in Punt Return Yards. Kicker Austin MacGinnis finished as the Number One Kicker in the XFL. Being great on Special Teams is sort of a lost art in Football. The Renegades proved to be a top team in that area in 2020.

(Credit: SEATTLE, WASHINGTON – FEBRUARY 22: Head coach Bob Stoops of the Dallas Renegades looks on during the fourth quarter of the game against the Seattle Dragons at CenturyLink Field on February 22, 2020 in Seattle, Washington. The Dallas Renegades topped the Seattle Dragons, 24-12. (Photo by Alika Jenner/Getty Images)

Final Thoughts:

The Offensive firepower led by Landry Jones and company made for an exciting season for the Renegades. On the flip side, that same Offense led the XFL in Turnovers, with a whopping 15 in 5 games. Turning the ball over an average of 3 times per game most certainly put the Renegades in tough situations. The Renegades were sub par in the Red Zone as well, going 5/14. Capitalizing on opportunities and limiting mistakes on Offense could have made for a very different Renegades team this past Spring.

The Defense may have had some great individual players, but as a whole they left much to be desired. Dallas has just 6 Sacks in 5 games. Not being able to get pressure on opposing Quarterbacks was clearly an issue. The Renegades were one of just two teams to not score a Defensive Touchdown as well. Overall, the Renegades were far too inconsistent in 2020. Huge Offensive numbers one week, to nothing the next. I look forward to seeing what changes are made to the Defense, as they will need to create some turnovers and big plays for the Renegades in 2022.

Header Pic Credit

(Credit: ARLINGTON, TX – MARCH 1: Tre Watson #40 of the Dallas Renegades lines up for kickoff during the XFL game against the Houston Roughnecks at Globe Life Park on March 1, 2020 in Arlington, Texas. (Photo by Andrew Hancock/XFL via Getty Images)

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