A Simply Smashing Review as usual John Turner
Everything is bigger in Texas. When the XFL announced the Inaugural 8 cities, there was no surprise why Dallas made the list. Not only is the DFW area fifth in the country in Nielsen DMA rankings, but they host the most valuable franchise in all of sports: the Dallas Cowboys.
It came as no surprise that Big D would get the first coaching hire announcement that came with a splash. As many of you know, it was indeed Bob Stoops that was announced as the Head Coach and General Manager. His time at Oklahoma is hard to argue with as far as pedigree is concerned. After leaving the University of Florida under Steve Spurrier as the defensive coordinator, he went on to compile a 190-48 record with 10, yes, TEN, BIG 12 Titles and a National Championship while he was at it.
Announced as head man of the Dallas Renegades a year ago, he quickly got to work in assembling his staff. Director of Player Personnel would go to Daryl “Moose” Johnston (who opened up a few holes in Dallas in his day) and Offensive Coordinator would go to Hal Mumme. On the defensive side of the ball, you’ll find Chris Woods. Mumme brings the Air Raid, and Woods spent time with Stoops at Oklahoma, so the system should have a smooth sailing installation.
Bob Stoops knows talent, and it’s evident in the 2010 NFL Draft. In the first round Sam Bradford, Gerald McCoy, Trent Williams, and Jermaine Gresham all went at pick 1, 3, 4, and 21, in that order. There’s another guy that played there you might know by the name of Adrian Peterson. So, let’s see how he and his staff did in Dallas for the Renegades for the first roster assembly of hopefully many to come.
Landry Jones seemed like a no brainer since he played for Stoops in college. An early injury in camp has sidelined him for the duration of it, however, he has said he’d likely be ready for Week 1. Jones took over as the starter for the Sooners after Sam Bradford and did not disappoint. In his three seasons as the full time starter he went 34-7 and put up some some pretty impressive numbers.
He was drafted by the Pittsburgh Steelers (which is typically a good sign) and he played well as a back up, however, that was a Ben Roethlisberger team and it still is.
Here are his numbers as Big Ben’s backup:
Dunbar, at 5’8 and 205, can run and catch the ball out of the backfield, as he did during his time on the Dallas Cowboys roster. As far as miles are concerned, he only has 105 career carries.
Artis-Payne is another guy with low miles that’s primarily been a part of a full backfield while he spent four seasons in Carolina with the Panthers.
Jeff Badet will likely be the primary receiver since he was their first overall pick in the skill position draft. Badet is another guy familiar with the system because he was a senior transfer to Oklahoma from the Kentucky Wildcats.
Sean Price from the South Florida Bulls is another guy I’d expect to see a lot of action as a Tight End/H Back. Price can block and catch. He’s not going to light up the stat sheets each week, but he will provide some timely first downs here and there as a lead blocker or with a catch out in open field.
Both sides of the line is an area I feel will be strong for Dallas because Stoops was able to consistently pump out talent during his time with Oklahoma.
Willie Beavers (God I love that name) from Western Michigan and Pace Murphy from Northwestern State just might be the book ends. Alex Balducci out of Oregon is your starting Center. Plenty of size on that side of the ball, no doubt.
On the other side of it they’ll likely use the 3-4 and rotate Winston Craig, Gelen Robinson, and Frank Alexander up front, and Greer Martini, Raymond Davison and Tegray Scales will be roaming around that front seven. Tre Watson is my early bird pick to be the leader of that crew. He had a sack and five interceptions as a senior transfer at Maryland in 2018 after transferring from Illinois. Jim Jeffcoat is the team’s defensive coordinator. Most Washingtonians remember him all too well…
Derron Smith, Treston Decoud, Josh Hawkins, and Deshaun Phillips will be the names to remember in the secondary. Smith has spent time with the Minnesota Vikings and Cincinnati Bengals after his time at Fresno State where he was a two time All Mountain West player. Before his time with the Vikings, he played for Mike Riley on the San Antonio Commanders, which is also where Director of Player Personnel Daryl Johnston served as team president. Dashaun Phillips is a hell of a talent from Duncaville, Texas. Over the last five years injuries has been his issue. He won Lone Star Conference Defensive Player of the Year as well as was First team All LSC twice.
No shortage of talent on both sides of the ball in Dallas. I think Mumme will give them an explosive dynamic on offense, and they’ll need it because there’s a team two hours down the road they’ll be trading big plays with in the Houston Roughnecks.
More on them in a few.
If you like the Dallas Renegades, tune in to our live show this Sunday before the Super Bowl for a chance to win an autograghed poster from Bob Stoops himself.