FRISCO, Texas – Former Dallas Cowboys and Chicago Bears Marion Barber III have died at the age of 38, the Cowboys said in a statement Wednesday.
“We are saddened by the tragic death of Marion Barber III,” the team said. “Marion was an old-school, stern-nose footballer who ran with a will to win everything. He had a passion for the game and a love for his coaches and teammates. Our hearts are with Marion’s family and friends during this difficult time.”
The cause of Barber’s death is unknown.
Police in Frisco, Texas, said in a statement that they responded to welfare concerns Wednesday in an apartment believed to have been rented by Barber’s Company. Police said they are investigating an unattended death at the scene but did not identify the person in their statement.
“The NFL mourns the tragic loss of Marion Barber 3 and extends our deepest condolences to his family and loved ones,” the league said in a statement.
Barber was drafted by Dallas in the fourth round of the 2005 NFL Draft from Minnesota. He was named to the Pro Bowl in 2007 despite not starting a game for a 13-3 team that finished the best NFC record. The Cowboys led with 975 dash yards and 10 touchdowns that season.
Released by the Cowboys after the 2010 season, he spent one year with the Bears. He finished his career with 4,780 yards and 53 touchdowns on 1,156 coaches in 99 games. He also had 179 passes for 1,330 yards and six touchdowns.
His tough style earned him the nickname “Marion the Barbarian”, and he was a fan favorite.
“We are saddened to learn of the death of Bears RB Marion Barber III,” Chicago said in a statement. “Our thoughts are with his family and friends.”
After retiring after the 2011 season, Barber was arrested by police in Mansfield, Texas, in 2014 and underwent a mental health assessment. In 2019, he was arrested on two counts of criminal misdemeanour.