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Cowboys vs. Panthers score update: Panthers strike to end the half, lead Cowboys 7-3

In what has been a defensive struggle, the Carolina Panthers lead the Dallas Cowboys 7-3 heading into halftime of their game in Charlotte, N.C.

The lone score for Dallas came on a Dan Bailey field goal to open the second quarter. The 19-yarder capped an 18-play, 91-yard drive that saw the Panthers stop the Cowboys before they could reach the end zone.

The most promising opportunity for the Panthers to strike, right up until the end of the half, came on a 10-play drive midway through the second quarter. At 2nd-and-6 at the Dallas 6-yard line, quarterback Cam Newton tried to find Louis Murphy. Instead, Morris Claiborne intercepted the ball for Dallas, ending the threat.

But Newton was able to make up for it with just 21 seconds to go in the half. That's when he found Brandon LaFell for a five-yard pass and the only touchdown of the game so far. Justin Medlock converted the extra point to make it 7-3. The 80-yard drive took up much of the last four minutes of the first half.

Dallas' Phil Costa went down with an apparent knee injury on a Cowboy's drive in the second quarter, and his return is doubtful.

Photographs by jamesbrandon, jdtornow, phlezk, flygraphix, mcdlttx, tomasland, and literalbarrage used in background montage under Creative Commons. Thank you.