If wide receiver Michael Wilson ever needed somebody to remind him that he's in the NFL, he knows his friends have his back.
"Some of my buddies were texting me from college, 'Bro, I can't believe the DBs you're going against this week,'" Wilson said, with the Dallas Cowboys visiting State Farm Stadium on Sunday. "I'm like, 'Bro, I know.'"
One of the cornerbacks Wilson was supposed to go against was the Cowboys' Pro Bowl stud, Trevon Diggs. On Thursday, Diggs tore his ACL during practice and will be out for the season.
Nonetheless, the Cardinals rookie wide receiver will see Stephon Gilmore, a former NFL Defensive Player of the Year.
"I think once you can compete against guys who are future Hall of Famers and are top five players in the league, you can gauge where you're at depending on how you do against them," Wilson said.
It'll be a good test for Wilson and all of the Cardinals, who have struggled to close out games throughout the young season. If the Cardinals are able to come away with the win on Sunday, Wilson knows how much it'd mean to him, and his teammates.
"I feel like there's so many guys on the Cowboys that I've been watching since high school," he said. "I think about the Cowboys as a national brand. To come out there and beat that team would mean a lot, for sure."
Coach Jonathan Gannon has repeatedly said any time the Cardinals step onto the field the goal is to win a football game, although he expects the team to focus more on process than results.
They do that, the thinking goes, the Cardinals could generate their first win of the season.
"Production goes into the NFL, so we have to do enough on all three phases to have a chance to win the game," Gannon said. "We know we have a really good football team coming in here, so we got our work cut out for us."
The Cardinals hold a 6-1 record against the Cowboys in its previous seven games, but this is a different Cowboys team. Gannon's description of "really good" is an understatement considering how the Cowboys have played this season.
They're near the top of every statistical defensive category and has outscored the two New York teams, 70-10. Even with Diggs being out for the remainder of the season, they have arguably the best defensive player in the league in Micah Parsons, and CeeDee Lamb as the offense's No. 1 wide receiver.
Guarding Lamb will likely be the Cardinals' other Wilson, Marco.
Marco Wilson knows this team has what it takes to bounce back after a 0-2 start to the season.
"We just need to come into this game and be more detailed and we'll do what we need to do to win," the cornerback said. "There's a fire under us before every game, but I think we're a little bit more focused on us after that loss and trying to figure out what we could do to get better and to not beat ourselves."
"We're just looking to continue going forward and elevate our game."
Rookie offensive lineman Paris Johnson Jr. said on Wednesday that the Cardinals are hungry. Gannon said the team has shown that throughout the week.
"I think they've been preparing the right way, and practicing the right way," Gannon said. "They're a prideful group, and they know that they want to win football games. But the want to win and the will to win is different. So, you've got to put the prep in for the week, and every games a new game and every week is a new week. They know what they got to do to win the game."
WATKINS GOES TO IR AND OTHER ROSTER MOVES
The Cardinals made it official on Saturday, placing defensive lineman Carlos Watkins (biceps) on Injured Reserve, although they did not replace him on the 53-man roster.
The Cardinals did elevate defensive lineman Ben Stille from the practice squad for Sunday's game. They also made a practice squad transaction, releasing defensive lineman Jacob Slade and signing defensive lineman Roy Lopez.