Arizona Cardinals general manager Steve Keim signed cornerback Antonio Cromartie to a one-year deal back in March primarily because of the veteran’s ball-hawking skills in the secondary.
While Cromartie’s Arizona debut was short-lived Saturday night at University of Phoenix Stadium, the three-time Pro Bowl still managed to make an impact in the preseason opener.
With the Cardinals already leading 14-0 behind touchdown receptions by Larry Fitzgerald and Jaron Brown, Todd Bowles’ unit had the Texans’ offense pinned back at their own 12 facing a 2nd and 12.
As Houston quarterback Ryan Fitzpatrick sent his pass downfield, though, middle linebacker Kevin Minter was in perfect position to tip the attempt.
Like clockwork, the ball fell right into the arms of Cromartie, who corralled it to give the Cardinals both their first turnover and best field position of the night.
Following Cromartie’s first pick as a Cardinal, Arizona settled for a 32-yard Chandler Catanzaro field goal to extend its lead to 17-0.
In his eight-year career, Cromartie has 28 career regular season interceptions.