The Raiders got beat by a quarterback who was sick, but it was their own inability to tackle that proved to be the more contagious disease.
The Raiders had largely stifled the Cowboys in the first half, but allowed them to come back for 228 yards in the second half, 132 of those yards on the ground.
Against what had been the league’s eight-ranked run defense, the lack of tackling was troubling.
“We didn’t adjust when we had to,” linebacker Kevin Burnett said, via Scott Bair of CSNBayArea.com. “It is nothing that can be coached. The coaches put us in perfect plays, and we didn’t tackle. That’s what it boils down to. We didn’t tackle. We would hit them in the backfield. We’d get six guys around them, and we’d let them go.
“Everyone has to be accountable. It is what it is at this point.”
Of course, Burnett would be central to that accountability. He and safety Brandian Ross had Cowboys tight end Jason Witten hemmed in on a third down play in the third quarter (when the game was tied), but somehow allowed Witten to break tackles, make moves and rumble for a first down.
That play stood as a symbol of the half, as the Cowboys held the ball for 21 minutes of the second half, scoring 24 unanswered points.