EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. (AP) — The New York Giants didn't have much of the running game with Saquon Barkley out of the lineup with an ankle injury, and things haven't gotten much better since the 2018 NFL Offensive Rookie of the Year returned to the lineup three weeks ago.
With the exception of a career-high 65-yard reception early in the fourth quarter, Barkley was a non-factor in the Giants' 37-18 loss to the Dallas Cowboys on Monday night.
Barkley finished with 14 carries for 28 yards with a long run of eight yards.
"Defensively, I thought we really settled down as the game wore on," Cowboys coach Jason Garrett said. "The priority was to stop that running game. That's a big time running back (Barkley). We couldn't let him get loose, and hopefully make them one dimensional and go rush him."
Since returning, Barkley has rushed for 72, 64 and now 28 yards. The Cowboys gave him little.
"They are a team that runs a lot of games up front," Barkley said. "They try to slant to create penetration; they were doing a good job of that. Everyone knows inside zone loves to come back in the back side and plant a back door cut. Sometimes I could have gone a little more vertical and gone downhill, but I have to go back and watch film and see how I can get better."
With Barkley doing little, the burden of the carrying the offense fell on rookie quarterback Daniel Jones, and the Cowboys didn't make life easy for him.
The No. 6 pick overall was sacked five times, hit 11 times throwing and turned the ball over three times, leading to 13 Dallas points.
His biggest mistake came late in the first half on a third-and-10 play from his 26-yard line. He went deep and was intercepted by Xavier Wood, who returned the ball to the Giants 39.
Brett Maher kicked a 52-yard field goal for a 13-12 Dallas halftime lead and the Cowboys never lost it.
"I think we started better than we had in previous weeks, but we still missed a couple of opportunities to score touchdowns when we had the ball down there," said Jones, who was 26 of 41 for 210 yards. "That was costly for us. Yeah, in the middle of the game, kind of struggled. We were stagnant a little bit and couldn't move the ball consistently. It's frustrating. It's frustrating to lose, but we have to make sure we learn from it and we improve."
The Giants had a great chance to take an early 7-0 lead when Antoine Bethea intercepted Dak Prescott on the first play from scrimmage and returned the ball to the Dallas 8. New York settled for a field goal.
It ended up leading to a fifth straight loss and dropped New York to 2-7.
"I'm disappointed we didn't do enough things to win the game," coach Pat Shurmur said. "That's where I'm at. I'm disappointed we didn't win. I think everyone in the locker room is that way. That's where it's at. "
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