Raiders fall to Dallas in waning seconds

For the second straight week the Oakland Raiders were in midseason form in terms of playing a game decided on the last play in a 21-20 loss to the Dallas Cowboys followed by their 33-30 win over San Francisco one week earlier.

The Oakland Raiders (1-1), however, also had a recurring problem of missed tackles and penalties. Granted, it is an exhibition game but the longer the problem lingers, the worse off they will be. The Raiders, who visit Arizona, on Saturday August 28, lost as Dallas quarterback Tony Romo scored on a 1-yard run with five seconds left in the game. Justin Fargas and Doug Gabriel scored touchdowns for Oakland, which visits Arizona, on Saturday August 28.

Here's a closer look at which individuals helped and hurt their cause:


OG Frank Middleton: He had a couple of key blocks on the opening drive to spring Tyrone Wheatley into the secondary.

RB Justin Fargas: Fargas (six carries, 31 yards) helped himself more than Wheatley (six carries, 21 yards) hurt himself. Truthfully, Wheatley is still the lead horse. He lost six yards on one carry when La' Roi Glover broke through the line virtually untouched but not even Jim Brown would have stood a chance on that play. Fargas, however, look solid in hitting the corner.

FB Zack Crockett: He also had a key block to spring Wheatley and produced a first down on fourth-and-inches -- his trademark.

WR Doug Gabriel: He continues to impress, as evidenced by his 89-yard touchdown reception. That's the second week in row that Gabriel has gotten behind the opposing secondary.

QB Marques Tuiasosopo: Granted, he entered the game when the frontliners were gone but for the second straight week he looked in command, going 6-of-9 for 65 yards, and showed good escape ability.

LBs Danny Clark and Travian Smith: With the linebacking corps already minus starter Napoleon Harris, both had active games. Both made tackles near the line while Clark added a sack.

DT Tommy Kelly: He's probably not going to be in Oakland come September but he recorded a sack. Perhaps, he helped himself make an impression for another team.


CBs Phillip Buchanon and Denard Walker: Both were whistled for penalties and Buchanon especially continues to have problems in coverage. Head coach Norv Turner said earlier in training camp how much Buchanon has improved. It's hard to see.

C Adam Treu: He didn't hurt his roster spot because he'll always have long snapping but early in the game Gannon was pressured up the gut. Plus, Jake Grove played into the second half.

CBs Carey Scott and James Bethea: Granted, they probably would be one of the first cuts but inopportune penalties will not help them any.

Also worth noting

-- For the second straight week, the Raiders kickoff coverage problems surfaced. Oakland gave up 148 yards on five returns. Granted, Zuriel Smith gained 55 on one play, making the totals inflated. Then again, that's no different than a pitcher's ERA ballooning after a three-run homer.

-- For the second straight week, penalties and missed tackles continued to be a problem. Granted, 11 infractions for 79 yards is an improvement of getting flagged 21 times. However, Saturday night's performance would be enough to account for well over 100 penalties for 1,000 yards.

-- Tight end Teyo Johnson dropped to No. 4 on the depth chart and did not enter the game until early in the fourth quarter.

-- Former Raiders linebacker Greg Biekert is now a defensive coordinator at Las Lomas High School in Walnut Creek, CA, where Biekert resides.

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