ARLINGTON, Texas — Desired defensive-line depth combined with a lack of healthy linebackers prompted defensive coordinator John Marshall to move Trevor Scott to linebacker earlier this week.

Scott adapted to his new position rather well, recording two sacks, three tackles-for-loss and almost intercepting a pass for a defense otherwise pushed around by the Dallas Cowboys on Thursday in a 24-7 loss at Cowboys Stadium.

Scott played what coach Tom Cable calls an "Elephant" position — linebacker on early downs and strictly rushing the quarterback on third-down plays.

"A few days ago, they said they wanted me to start at (weak-side linebacker) this game," Scott said. "So, I was like, 'Alright, that's an opportunity to get on the field. So be it.' I just had to take it and run with it."

Scott worked at length with linebackers coach Mike Haluchak on Tuesday and carried over the teachings into the game.

  • Much-maligned rookie wide receiver Darrius Heyward-Bey notched his first touchdown catch, a 4-yard pass from Bruce Gradkowski in the left corner of the end zone in the third quarter.

    Heyward-Bey has been criticized for dropping numerous catchable passes and failing to validate the Raiders' selection of him with the No. 4 pick in the draft. He has nine receptions for 124 yards and one touchdown in 11 starts.

    Cable said he had a hunch Heyward-Bey's first touchdown was coming.


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    "I had a feeling before the game that he would get one (Thursday)," Cable said. "He and I actually talked about it, and Bruce made a great throw. "... So, that's another thing that he could break through."

    Heyward-Bey kept the ball, as well as the warm feeling that came from catching his first touchdown in front of his mother, two aunts and several cousins.

    "I tried to help the cause with that play," Heyward-Bey said, "but when you lose, it's all that matters. You want to win at the end."

  • Give Raiders punter Shane Lechler points for trying. His repeated attempts to hit the massive scoreboard perched high above the playing field at Cowboys Stadium came up just short on his best efforts.

    Three times, Lechler's booming punts in pre-game warmups came close but failed to hit the target drilled by Tennessee Titans punter A.J. Trapasso in an exhibition game.

    No punter has hit the scoreboard since, including in the six regular-season games this season. Lechler said he would try to hit the board during warmups. And he tried, for sure.

    Lechler did succeed in giving the Raiders an edge in field position by averaging 54.8 yards on his nine punts. He increased his lead over the 49ers' Andy Lee to four yards, 51.9-47.9. The NFL record is 51.4 by Sammy Baugh in 1940.

  • Cable had hinted at possible changes to his kick-return and punt-return teams, and sure enough, he replaced Jonathan Holland with Gary Russell on kick returns. Russell succeeds Louis Rankin, Justin Miller and Holland in what has been a problem area all season. He returned one kick for 15 yards.

  • The Cowboys praised cornerback Nnamdi Asomugha all week as being one of the league's best, but showed little respect for him once the game started.

    Quarterback Tony Romo threw for receiver Miles Austin, against Asomugha, twice within the first four plays. Austin caught the first one for 49 yards to the Raiders 27-yard line but dropped the second one. Asomugha also allowed a 9-yard reception to Roy Williams.

  • The Raiders placed linebacker Jon Alston on the injured-reserve list, a result of what Cable called "residual effects" from two concussions Alston has suffered since early October.

  • The Raiders signed rookie linebacker Slade Norris from the practice squad to take Alston's place on the 53-man roster. Norris was deactivated for Thursday's game.

  • Defensive end Greg Ellis sat out the second half with swelling in his left knee and lower leg.

  • The Raiders also waived cornerback John Bowie. He was placed on injured-reserve with a knee injury. The Raiders selected him in the 2007 NFL draft with the fourth-round pick they received from New England in a trade for Randy Moss.