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.
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.
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."
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.
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.