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Saturday, August 10, 2013
Cowboys' special teams units struggle

By Calvin Watkins

OAKLAND -- It wasn't a good night Friday for the Cowboys' special teams units.

There was a blocked field goal, a muffed punt, a 51-yard kickoff return allowed and a penalty on a punt return against the Cowboys in the 19-17 loss to the Raiders.

"We had a field goal blocked and we had a turnover in the red zone, fumbled a punt. Obvviously we didn’t play very well," special team coach Rich Bisaccia said. "It’s just players. I did a poor job, obviously. We did a poor job. We didn’t cover very good. Turned the ball over and had a field goal blocked. So we’ve got a lot of work to do."

The special teams woes started in the second quarter when kicker Dan Bailey had a 26-yard field goal attempt blocked. The block came from the right side of the line where Tyvon Branch slipped through a gap to block the kick.

In the third quarter, veteran safety Eric Frampton was flagged for 15 yards when he hit returner Phillip Adams after he signaled for a fair catch.

After the Cowboys took a 17-16 lead in the fourth quarter, Greg Jenkins took the ensuing kickoff and returned it 51 yards. The Raiders didn't score on their offensive possession but got the ball right back when rookie B.W. Webb muffed the punt, which led a field goal and gave the Raiders a 19-17 lead.

"Special teams is really important to our football team," coach Jason Garrett said. "It wins and loses games every week. The big yardage plays, potential turnover, the takeaway-type plays, the potential run plays, and in each of those categories we didn’t do as well as we needed to. I thought we ran better on special teams than we did last week, particularly the young guys, (and) that was a point of emphasis last week."