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Giants coach Pat Shurmur speaks out on his plan for Saquon Barkley

Saquon Barkley, Giants

New York Giants running back Saquon Barkley carried the ball just 11 times and caught four passes in the team’s season-opening loss to the Dallas Cowboys on Sunday, which had many scratching their heads afterward.

Barkley racked up 120 yards on his 11 rushes, so why not give your Pro Bowl running back the ball more?

Well on Monday, Giants head coach Pat Shurmur had an explanation for it.

“It’s always good to keep him involved throughout, but the way the first half, and I know that was a question last night as well, the way the first half played out, it was only four possessions,” Shurmur said, per Josh Alper of Pro Football Talk. “A couple reasons for it, they controlled the ball on us by making their third downs. We didn’t convert and again we had the one drive we got down there and got stopped and we have to do a better job of when we get down there, getting points and that changes things. You don’t go into it thinking he isn’t going to touch the ball, that’s just how that first half played out.”

Shurmur has a point.

The Giants’ defense did an awful job of keeping the Cowboys’ offense off the field, allowing Dallas to dominate time of possession. New York also found itself behind 35-10, and generally, when you’re losing by that much, you don’t run the football.

Still, that won’t stop the media and fans from wondering why the Giants only gave Barkley 15 touches in Week 1.

New York will head home to play host to the Buffalo Bills next Sunday.