The Cardinals honored former safety Pat Tillman on the cover of their 2004 media guide. Tillman played four seasons for Arizona before leaving the NFL in 2002 to join the Army Rangers and serving several tours of duty. He was killed in Afghanistan in April of 2004.

During the second week of the regular season each NFL player wore a decal on his helmet in honor of Tillman. The Cards kept the decal through the remainder of the season. His jersey number 40 is now retired by the club.

The Cards finished 6-10 in 2004 but their first three draft picks were wide receiver Larry Fitzgerald, linebacker Karlos Dansby and defensive tackle Darnell Dockett. That trio would help Arizona reach its first Super Bowl four years later.