OAKLAND – In a game eventually decided by two points, the Cowboys were on the wrong side of a 19-17 outcome Friday night against the Raiders.
And like so many games do, this one came down to special teams.
The Cowboys left a field goal on the board in the first quarter. They had a fumbled punt that led to another field goal by the Raiders in the fourth. And even in between, there were some miscues in the kicking game that will likely give special teams coach Rich Bisaccia plenty to chew on this week.
It started when Dan Bailey's 26-yard attempt was blocked.
"I haven't seen it on film or looked at the pictures but it seemed like we had a strong rush from the right side," Bailey said.
After the block, punter/holder Chris Jones made the tackle but Bailey was tripped up in the process, going to the ground with the wind knocked out of him.
Later in the game, with the Cowboys leading 17-16, rookie corner B.W. Webb misjudged a punt deep in his own territory and dropped the ball. The Raiders recovered at the Cowboys' 9 and eventually took the lead on a field goal four plays later.
The Raiders only punted twice with Webb back deep for both. The first one was a short kick downed by Oakland. But the second one ended up becoming the difference maker in the game.
In the return game, the Raiders averaged 34.3 yards on three returns, including a 51-yarder in the fourth quarter that put Oakland in favorable field position and eventually led to Webb's muffed punt.
The Cowboys had some decent returns themselves, including a 28-yard kickoff return by Cole Beasley. Joseph Randle averaged 25 yards on his two runbacks while Anthony Armstrong and Dwayne Harris also had returns.
Deep snapper L.P. Ladouceur, who is considered the veteran of the special teams, didn't seem worried with the struggles Friday night.
"It's the second preseason game," he said. "I think we'll be fine. We've got some issues to work on. But I don't think it's anything we can't do. We've got a good scheme and we'll be fine."