The excitement was at a fever pitch for the Dallas Renegades XFL opener at Globe Life Park in Arlington, but much like afternoon’s the gloomy weather, the game itself ended up being a little on the sluggish side as the St. Louis Battlehawks won 15-9.
Renegades head coach Bob Stoops was back on the sidelines after 1,133 days and and he made it clear that he is not just here for the competition of the XFL, he expects to win.
“I came in all in expecting to win. I’m not doing this for any other reason. I want to win, win big. So, I’m disappointed.” Stoops said. “I thought we would have played better in a lot of different areas regardless of who was in at quarterback. I don’t go there either. Philip [Nelson] does a good job and a lot of some of the inconsistencies aren’t on him. We need to play better.”
Dallas starting quarterback Landry Jones was out coming off a training camp injury and behind backup signal caller Phillip Nelson, the Renegades “air raid” attack failed to get off the ground as they only managed three field goals against the tough St. Louis defense.
“In that preseason game that we had against them [St. Louis], we were going over the top of them,” Nelson said in regards to the checkdowns. “You could tell today that they were backing up. Coach [Hal] Mumme says all the time that ‘you have to have a great capacity for boredom,’ which meant to check it down tonight.”
One of the bright spots for the opening day was the big crowd of 17,026 enthusiastic fans that packed the lower levels and new grandstands in the stadium that previously housed MLB’s Texas Rangers.
“It was a great football environment. It’s something new,’ said running back Lance Dunbar, known to local sports fans from his days with the Dallas Cowboys and University of North Texas. “Fans came out and supported us, and it was really exciting. We didn’t win the game tonight, but we’re going to get things better and find a way to win next week.”
Next up for the Renegades is a road game on Sunday at the Los Angeles Wildcats.