Cardale Jones is one of the faces of the XFL’s 2020 relaunch. The former national champion is the starting quarterback of the DC Defenders.
Today, he starred in the first game of the league’s new season. The Ohio State great’s Defenders hosted the Seattle Dragons, and he had the chance to show off the cannon that led Urban Meyer’s team past Alabama and Oregon in the College Football Playoff five years ago. His D.C. team topped Seattle 31-19.
Jones finished with a pretty gaudy statline in game No. 1. He was 16-for-26 for 291 yards and two scores, good for 11.19 yards per attempt. That included a pretty nice connection with tight end Khari Lee on a double reverse pass for his first touchdown.
After the game, Cardale Jones spoke about his first performance with ESPN/ABC’s Dianna Russini. He said that it was good to get the chance to play a full four-quarter game again, and that he believed he had a tough team entering the game, while the true identity of the team is still being discovered. For college football fans and especially Ohio State fans, it is cool to see Jones get a shot like this.
— DC Defenders (@XFLDefenders) February 8, 2020
The Cleveland native was drafted by the Buffalo Bills in the fourth round of the 2016 NFL Draft. He played in one game that season, completing 6-of-11 throws for 96 yards and an interception.
He was traded to the Los Angeles Chargers the following season. He wound up on the practice squad in 2018, and was waived just ahead of the 2019 season. He spent the fall on the Seattle Seahawks practice squad.
DC picks up the first victory of the 2020 XFL season, and based on Twitter during the game, the gamble that the AAF made last season and the XFL made this year, that people will want some football action after the Super Bowl, looks like a good one. Both leagues have drawn some solid attention in Week 1. Hopefully Vince McMahon’s league doesn’t flame out like last year’s startup, and his first attempt at an alternate pro league.