Renegades Training Camp: Day 5
HOUSTON -- The Dallas Renegades' first full practice following Tuesday's news of quarterback Landry Jones' knee injury took place under mostly grey skies and threats of rain Thursday.
The gloomy weather at Darrell Tully Stadium just so happened to follow news about the former Oklahoma's star's setback, which could sideline him for Week 1 vs. St. Louis (Feb. 9, 4 p.m. CT, ESPN).
However, head coach Bob Stoops took a sunnier view of what he saw from the QB group that would fill in.
"[Philip Nelson] looks really strong, doing a great job with more reps that he's getting," he said. "Eric Dungey came in and filled in well today, and Jerrod Heard also is getting some snaps and he's looked better the more reps he gets. So they're all doing a good job."
Dungey, who signed with the team Wednesday and practiced for the first time Thursday, noted to Renegades staff Wednesday night that "it was quite a 24 hours" leading up to his arrival.
The 23-year-old was in his native Oregon when he got the news, and he swiftly traveled to take his place with the club.
Dungey wrapped up his Syracuse career after the 2018 season as the school's all-time passing leader (9,340 yards) while also rushing for 1,993 yards and 35 touchdowns in his career, including 15 during his senior campaign. During 2019, he spent time on the New York Giants as an undrafted free agent and inhabited the Cleveland Browns' practice squad.
Dungey wasted little time displaying his fleet feet with the Renegades, breaking off a few big gains on the ground.
"[Director] Daryl Johnston and our player personnel guys have had [Dungey] on their radar for quite awhile -- big, good-looking athlete, he's got a good arm, so he fits in with us well."
Heard, meanwhile, has balanced his new time under center while bolstering his stock as a wideout.
Stoops said it's "too early to tell" when and how often Heard could see time under center but noted the Texas alum is an "exceptional athlete and a smart guy, so he's handling that along with the wide receiver stuff really well."
Nelson still may have the inside track to start if needed, however, considering his initially expected assignment as Jones' backup and past scouting report as a prospect.
He garnered rave reviews at the 2017 NFLPA Collegiate Bowl. FOX Sports' Joel Klatt, who'll be part of the network's XFL broadcast team, listed him as an NFL Draft sleeper in 2017, writing at the time that Nelson "might be the NFL's next great undrafted quarterback."
During red-zone drills, 6-foot-5 wide receiver Jazz Ferguson held tight despite a hold from his defensive-backfield teammate Josh Thornton to snag a pass in the end zone.
The social team nailed cornerback Dashaun Phillips' feelings about playing for his hometown, in the words of DJ Khaled, Kanye West and T-Pain:
To make room for Dungey's arrival, Dallas released long snapper Owen Gilbert. Linebacker Christian Kuntz is expected to take over that role.