(CBS Local)– Sunday is a big game for the Philadelphia Eagles.

The 5-4 Eagles are tied for the division lead with the Dallas Cowboys and also face the New England Patriots in a rematch of Super Bowl XXXIX.

Former Eagles cornerback Nolan Carroll left Philadelphia the year before the Birds won it all, but he is still close with guys like Malcolm Jenkins on this year’s squad. Carroll had the best three years of his career in Philly and also learned some really important lessons on and off the field.

“It was eye opening,” said Carroll in an interview with CBS Local’s DJ Sixsmith. “I remember when Colin Kaepernick started the whole kneeling thing and we didn’t want to go the same route and bring too much attention to us. We were getting ready to play the Chicago Bears and Malcolm Jenkins brought us all together as a team and talked about a peaceful protest. Malcolm was really the catalyst to bring more awareness and Chris Long also did tremendous things.”

The retired Carroll hasn’t played in the NFL since 2017 and is busy working a new app called YooTroo, which helps connect small businesses and consumers. The former Eagles defensive back has been keeping his eye on the Eagles and still has hope for Carson Wentz to lead this team to the playoffs.

“Every morning I would get there and see Jordan Matthews and Carson Wentz,” said Carroll. “I would always try to be the first guy in the locker room just to get myself ready for the day. No matter how early I got there, Jordan, Nelson [Agholor], and Brandon Graham were always there before me. I remember this one time, it was Carson Wentz’s rookie year and I was getting to the facility at 6am and I saw him in there before me. I would try to get there at 5:45 and Carson was there at 5:40. That’s when I was like this guy is going to be special. It was a special place, a special team, and a special city.”

Watch the Eagles take on the Patriots Sunday at 4:25pm EST on CBS.