While excitement buzzed throughout Philadelphia, the Eagles' home opener did not go as planned. A slow offensive start and injuries plagued the Birds, who were held scoreless until the fourth quarter, and ultimately these issues were too much to overcome. The Eagles dropped the second game of the season to Dallas, 20-10.
It was a day of injuries for not just the Eagles, but also the Cowboys as both teams lost major players throughout the course of the 60 minutes. The health issues began with Eagles linebacker Kiko Alonso, who left during the second quarter with a knee injury. Shortly thereafter, Mychal Kendricks left the game with a hamstring injury. Neither player returned.
Ironically, one of the biggest plays of the game came from rookie linebacker Jordan Hicks' increased playing time as a result of the Alonso and Kendricks injuries. In the third quarter, Hicks sacked Dallas quarterback Tony Romo, forcing a fumble that was recovered by Fletcher Cox. The play resulted in not only the Eagles' ball but also an injury to Romo, who suffered a broken left clavicle. Currently, there is no timetable for the quarterback's return, leaving Dallas with another huge loss on offense following the Dez Bryant injury in Week 1.
During the game, the Eagles' defense provided glimmers of hope for the team. It shut down Dallas at the goal line in the first quarter after first-and-goal from the 1-yard line, limiting the Cowboys to only a 20-yard field goal. Dallas would score an additional three on a second field goal in the next quarter.
Furthermore, Malcolm Jenkins picked up a Gavin Escobar fumble at the Dallas 35-yard line with 7:15 remaining in the game. He returned the ball to the Dallas 30 before being pushed out of bounds. Unfortunately, Dallas recovered a Philadelphia fumbled the very next play as Jason Kelce snapped the ball before Sam Bradford was ready.
The Cowboys managed to score only one touchdown against the Eagles' defense with just over four minutes remaining. The team's first of two touchdowns on the night came off a blocked punt in the third quarter. Dallas' Kyle Wilber returned the ball 26 yards for the score.
Both sides showed limited offensive production, but Philadelphia's struggle was the defining issue of the game. The Eagles managed only 226 yards of offense. Bradford and the team got moving too little, too late. The offense went on its only touchdown drive with about four minutes left. Bradford and Jordan Matthews connected on a 6-yard touchdown pass, and the Cody Parkey extra point was good. However, there was not enough time on the clock for the Eagles to attempt a true comeback.
Running back DeMarco Murray was stifled by his former team. The NFL's rushing champ was held to just 2 yards on 13 carries, although he provided 53 yards receiving including a 22-yard catch-and-run that ended with one of the most bizarre penalties one will ever see. As Murray ran out of bounds along the Dallas sideline, kicker Dan Bailey pulled on Murray's jersey to slow him from getting back to the field and was called for unsportsmanlike conduct. That aided the Eagles to their first points of the game.
The Eagles will regroup and get back to work to prepare for next week's game against the New York Jets.
The Eagles faced the Dallas Cowboys in their 2015 home opener at Lincoln Financial Field. View the full gallery here...