GLENDALE, Ariz. All season the Arizona Cardinals have tried to bring the best out of wide receiver Andre Roberts. On Sunday they might have figured out how.
The second-year receiver had a career day with 111 receiving yards. Unfortunately for the Cardinals, they can't play the Dallas Cowboys every week.
Roberts' previous career best was 110 yards, in a win against the Cowboys last season. Those are the only games in Roberts' two-year career in which he's exceeded 100 yards.
"Something about the Cowboys, I don't know," Roberts joked after the Cardinals' 19-13 overtime win.
Lately it's not just the Cowboys, though, and Roberts is starting to display the talent the Cardinals have believed was there all along.
"He's blossoming in front of your eyes," Cardinals coach Ken Whisenhunt said. "You can see his confidence growing every week. He made a number of big plays for us today . . . and he's done that the last couple weeks."
Roberts is amid the best streak of his young career, having compiled more than 50 yards in four of the Cardinals' last five games.
When the Cardinals let Steve Breaston leave via free agency in the offseason, Roberts became the team's No. 2 receiver. Breaston had 718 receiving yards last season, but the Cardinals believed Roberts was capable of filling the void.
In the early going, it appeared their belief has misguided. Through Arizona's first seven games, Roberts caught just 13 passes for 133 yards. Twice he was held without a catch. But in the first of two victories over St. Louis, something clicked.
"He got a game ball in the first St. Louis game a couple weeks ago, and it seems like ever since then he has been building off that," Whisenhunt said. "(I'm) really excited to see Andre develop that way."
Roberts caught five passes that day for 55 yards, and now has 20 catches for 286 yards in the Cardinals' last five games. He's still without a touchdown, but with quarterback Kevin Kolb back under center, Roberts should get even more chances during the Cardinals' four remaining games.
"Larry (Fitzgerald) is on the other side being double- and triple-teamed, even with defensive linemen on him one time (on Sunday)," Roberts said. "Kevin looked to my side a little more this game."
Without a doubt, Roberts' greatest contributions came in the final moments of the game. He made his sixth catch of the day, tying a career high, on a low pass to keep a drive alive. Two plays later, on second and 19, Roberts drew a defensive pass interference to give Arizona an automatic first down.
But his most significant contribution might have been the one that didn't show up in the final stats. As running back LaRod Stephens-Howling caught a short pass at the Cardinals' 45-yard line, Roberts was close to the sidelines, throwing the block that made Stephens-Howling's 52-yard, game-winning sprint to the end zone possible.
Roberts was chief among a number of unsung contributors in the victory, but he hardly gave himself a sliver of credit.
"It's a team effort," Roberts said. "Of course, as a receiver, I want the ball as much as I can, but it's a team effort.
"On LaRod's last play, you don't know it, but everybody was downfield blocking. It never would have happened. LaRod is definitely lethal in space, but everybody on the same page at the same time is what made it happen."