Cardinals wide receiver Larry Fitzgerald comes down with a circus catch in the fourth quarter on Monday night.
Larry Fitzgerald was dotted with Band-Aids at his postgame press conference on Monday night, the bumps and bruises a painful reminder of how long he's been playing in the NFL.
"At 34 … everything hurts," Fitzgerald said.
On the field, the Cardinals' star receiver refuses to show his age.
Fitzgerald had a monster performance in the 28-17 loss to the Cowboys, catching 13 passes for 149 yards and a touchdown. The Cardinals' offense was without star running back David Johnson and receiver John Brown, but stayed afloat in large part due to Fitzgerald's dominance.
"That's Fitz," coach Bruce Arians said. "That's Monday night. He's a Monday player. It was a great performance by him. It's a shame we couldn't play better around him."
Fitzgerald was coming off a game in Indianapolis where he caught only three passes for 21 yards, but was an integral part of the offense from start to finish in this one. He had six receptions in the first quarter and continued to shine in critical spots.
"We had some favorable looks where I had some opportunities," Fitzgerald said. "Certain weeks there's good looks, and there's other weeks where it's not there. That's just the National Football League."
The Cardinals' offense bogged down for a long stretch in the second and third quarters, but it was Fitzgerald who rescued it from the haze, hauling in a 37-yard jump ball and then a 15-yard score within the span of three plays. The touchdown came on a post-corner route in which quarterback Carson Palmer lofted the ball in perfectly.
"We got him man-to-man," Arians said. "As long as we protect, he was open all night."
The touchdown, Fitzgerald's first of the season, tied the game at 14 with 3:13 left in the third quarter, but the Cowboys quickly answered back for a 21-14 advantage. Fitzgerald did what he could to keep his team in range.
The Cardinals faced a third-and-18 from their 33 with 10:39 remaining in the game and Fitzgerald came down with one of the most memorable catches in the NFL this season -- a circus grab that bounced off Cowboys defender Orlando Scandrick.
The Cowboys challenged, but Fitzgerald said he knew he slid his arm between the ball and the grass.
"It was more luck than anything," Fitzgerald said.
There was a moment of hesitancy because the reception was so unbelievable, but the crowd then exuberantly broke into 'Lar-Ry' chants. The catch led to a field goal, which cut Dallas' lead to 21-17, but that was the closest the Cardinals would get in the fourth.
While Fitzgerald was targeted early, he was uncertain if that would continue after the team's list of scripted of plays ran out, since the game-plan changes depending on how a defense reacts. Palmer said there was no reason to think he would suddenly look away from Fitzgerald.
"I think he would be anybody's target of choice," Palmer said.