Steve Smith Sr.'s 1,000th-career catch came in typical Steve Smith fashion, with him fighting for every inch.
The Ravens' feisty veteran wide receiver became just the 14th player in NFL history to reach 1,000 career receptions with a 22-yard catch and run on the first play of the second half Sunday.
But Smith couldn't relish the record as much as he would have liked after a 27-17 loss to the Dallas Cowboys.
For Smith, it's always been more about winning than about personal achievements. He's the ultimate competitor, and it showed Sunday at AT&T Stadium.
"It's sweet, I guess," Smith said. "But you want to win. I'd give all that back to win, to be honest."
Before the season began, when Smith said part of the reason he changed his mind on retirement was to reach 1,000 catches, he joked that he might just hop in his car and drive directly to his retirement party in Charlotte, N.C. once he hit the mark.
There was no way that was going to happen Sunday.
Smith finished Sunday's game with eight catches for 99 yards and a touchdown. He had no voice in the postgame locker room after so much barking at Cowboys defenders.
By the end of the game, Smith's passion had bubbled over so much that he was hit with a 15-yard unnecessary roughness penalty after making his last catch. He shoved a Cowboys defender's head down after being gang tackled.
Smith displayed a bit of everything that has made him a potential Hall of Fame receiver.
He made a dazzling toe-tapping catch in the second quarter for a 13-yard gain on third-and-12. It was so good that Cowboys Head Coach Jason Garrett challenged it in disbelief. The catch was upheld.
When the Ravens trailed by 14 points in the fourth quarter, Smith was determined not to go down without a fight, and took over the game.
On the next drive, he caught four passes for 44 yards, including a 5-yard touchdown on a slant in traffic. Smith took one short throw and accelerated through the Cowboys defense for 17 yards. He withstood a big hit in the end zone to hold on for the touchdown.
At 37 years old, Smith is still having a standout season. In eight games played, he has 44 catches for 516 yards and three touchdowns. He missed two games because of an ankle injury.
None of that will console Smith as he and the Ravens fly back to Baltimore, however.
"Yeah, we're frustrated," he said. "This is a good [Dallas] team. We felt like we had them on the ropes and we let them off the hook. We didn't play as well as we wanted to collectively. Just a little disappointed in ourselves."