Without the services of Amari Cooper, and with an offensive line that was forced to shift around due to injury, the Oakland Raiders fell to the Dallas Cowboys 20-17 Sunday night at the Oakland-Alameda County Coliseum.
After falling behind 10-0 in the first half, the Silver and Black just couldn't climb the mountain of the scoreboard, although the two teams were square at 17-17 midway through the fourth quarter.
With the loss, the Raiders fall to 6-8 and will next take the field Christmas night on the road against the Philadelphia Eagles.
Here are four, quick observations from the Week 15 loss to the Dallas Cowboys.
1. So they do come in bunches
After not recording an interception in the first 10 games of the regular season, the Silver and Black have been better at taking the ball away the past few weeks.
With cornerback Sean Smith's first quarter interception on Dak Prescott, along with his second of the evening in the third quarter, the Raiders have now tallied four interceptions in the past four games.
Now, would Head Coach Jack Del Rio like for those turnovers to subsequently turn into points? Certainly, but at the very least, Smith's interception took points off the board for the Dallas Cowboys.
While the interception didn't change the outcome of Sunday's primetime clash, it's been nice to see the defense make strides as of late with Assistant Head Coach – Defense John Pagano at the helm.
2. Nicholas Morrow enjoyed a hot start
The undrafted linebacker out of Greenville had himself quite the first half Sunday night at the Oakland-Alameda County Coliseum.
Not only did he have a very nice pass defensed running in coverage against future Hall of Famer Jason Witten, but he also tallied a very impressive tackle for loss, along with providing some good pressure to Prescott early on.
The former Greenville Panther has been a solid contributor to the Raiders defense a majority of the season, and Sunday was likely his most impactful outing as of yet.
While Gareon Conley and Obi Melifonwu – the team's first two draft picks – weren't able to contribute much this season, Morrow's work in 2017 has been a bright spot for the rookie class.
3. The Cowboys started hot and didn't look back
Even without Ezekiel Elliott on the field, the Cowboys boast one of the most dynamic rushing attacks in the NFL, and that excellence on the ground was on full display Sunday night.
At the half, the Cowboys had run for 65 yards, and by night's end that number had ballooned to 120.
The Raiders knew coming into Sunday's primetime clash that they would have to find a way to limit Dallas on the ground, and unfortunately that just wasn't the case.
4. The offensive line was forced to adjust
Mike Tice's group has been one of the most consistent units on the Raiders this season; they've played at a high level week in and week out, regardless of the personnel, and that flexibility was on full display Sunday night against the Cowboys.
After Donald Penn was forced to leave the Week 15 clash with the Cowboys due to an ankle injury, Marshall Newhouse shifted to Penn's usual spot at left tackle with Vadal Alexander taking over at right tackle.
We seem to say it every week, but unfortunately, injuries are a part of the game, and whichever team responds to those injuries the best seems to take home the W.
While things weren't quite as crisp along the offensive front as they usually are, the play of the big guys up front was not the reason for Sunday night's loss.
Photos of the game action during the Raiders' Week 15 matchup with the Dallas Cowboys on Sunday Night Football.