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Eagles Lose LBs Alonso, Kendricks


The Eagles faced the Dallas Cowboys in their 2015 home opener at Lincoln Financial Field. View the full gallery here...

The Eagles enter halftime down 6-0 in their home opener against the Dallas Cowboys, but it's not just the team's slow start that has fans concerned. In the second quarter, Philadelphia lost two inside linebackers to injury, with Kiko Alonso injuring his surgically repaired left knee and Mychal Kendricks  tweaking his left hamstring. Both are out for the remainder of the game.

For the second straight week, the Eagles' offense struggled to move the ball early in the game, finishing with just 15 total yards and one first down in three drives in the first quarter. The Cowboys had their own issues offensively, but were able to string together one 79-yard scoring drive late in the opening frame to go up 3-0 heading into the first break.

The Cowboys opened the second quarter with second-and-11 on their own 13-yard line. After racking up a pair of first downs, Dallas' drive sputtered thanks to a Cedric Thornton sack on Tony Romo to set up third-and-long. A 5-yard penalty backed the Cowboys up another 5 yards, and they were unable to move the sticks on third-and-21, ending their drive at their own 41.

The Eagles took over possession at their own 15 with 10:23 on the clock, but they couldn't get anything going, running twice for a total of 3 yards before a Sam Bradford pass intended for Zach Ertz sailed over the second-year tight end's head to put Philadelphia at 0 for 4 on the day on third downs.

But while the Eagles' offense struggled in the early going, their defense maintained the same intensity they showed in the second half of last week's season-opener against Atlanta, when they allowed just six points in the final 30 minutes of the game after surrendering 20 before the game's midpoint. Back on the field after being afforded just a 1:13 break by the offense, the defense once again clamped down, with Kiko Alonso stopping Jason Witten 7 yards shy of the first-down marker, forcing Dallas into its second three-and-out of the game. But the stop didn't come without a price, as Alonso left the field with a left knee injury that will knock him out for the remainder of this game.

After another three-and-out by Philadelphia on a drive that lasted 1:43 and lost 6 yards, Dallas took over on their own 11 at the 5:24 mark of the quarter. After working the ball out to the 28, the Cowboys were faced with third-and-5, but a neutral zone infraction against the Eagles granted Dallas the first down before the ball was snapped.

An unnecessary roughness call against Vinny Curry after a first-down completion to Jason Witten added 15 yards to a 7-yard gain to bring the ball to the Eagles' 45. On second down, Tony Romo attempted a strike downfield to running back Lance Dunbar with Mychal Kendricks defending, but the pass was overthrown. On that play, Kendricks came up holding his left hamstring and had to come off the field. After being examined on the trainer's table, he was brought into the locker room.

Two plays later, what appeared to be a backwards pass was recovered by the Eagles, giving them possession of the football on their own 39 with 1:34 left. But after officials reviewed the play, the call was overturned and Dallas retained possession. After the Cowboys set up first-and-goal on the Eagles' 10-yard line with seven seconds left, the Eagles were able to make a big stop to hold Dallas to a field goal to make the score 6-0 at halftime.

The Eagles enter intermission down by less than a touchdown despite a 15-to-1 first down deficit and being outgained 193-to-21 in total yards with a 23:09 to 6:51 time-of-possession differential in the first half.

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