Former Dallas Cowboys Player Marion Barber III Dead at 38

Former NFL running back Marion Barber III—nicknamed "Marion the Barbarian"— has died at the age of 38, leaving behind a six-year legacy with the Dallas Cowboys.

By Steven Vargas Jun 02, 2022 1:54 AMTags
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Dallas lost a former Cowboy player. 

Ten years after leaving the NFL team, Marion Barber III passed away at the 38, the Dallas Cowboys announced on June 1.

"We are heartbroken by the tragic death of Marion Barber III," the Dallas Cowboys said in a statement June 1. "Marion was an old-school, hard-nosed football player who ran with the will to win every down. He had a passion for the game and love for his coaches and teammates. Our hearts go out to Marion's family and friends during this difficult time."

A spokesperson for the Frisco Police Department in Texas told E! News that Barber was found dead in his apartment after officers responded to the scene for a welfare check on June 1 around 2:40 p.m. local time. There were no signs of foul play, though authorities said an investigation is ongoing. 

A cause of death has not been released.

Barber played six of his eight-year football career in the NFL with the Cowboys from 2005 to 2011. He closed out his time on the field with the Chicago Bears in 2011 and retired before the start of the 2012 season.

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After Barber retired, he experienced run-ins with the police. According to The Star-Telegram, he was detained by police in Mansfield, Texas, in 2014. In 2019, he was later arrested on two misdemeanor counts of criminal mischief over a 2018 incident in which he allegedly caused damage to two cars.

During his career, the running back nicknamed "Marion the Barbarian" made the Pro Bowl in 2007, rushing 975 yards and 10 touchdowns. He is hailed for his two two-yard run during a 2007 Cowboys game against the Patriots that made NFL history for bringing the ball out of the end zone just in time to keep their opposing team from a touchdown.

Icon Sportswire via AP Images

Field Yates, co-host of the Fantasy Focus Football podcast with ESPN, shared the historic moment on Twitter, writing, "Marion Barber was the definition of a tenacious runner. He always made something out of nothing. This was the most incredible 2-yard run ever. RIP."

Marcus Mosher, the host of the Locked On Cowboys podcast, shared his condolences on Twitter as well, writing, "Marion Barber was one of the toughest running backs I've ever seen. Ugh. This one hurts."

Meanwhile, manager and editor-in-chief of Blogging the Boys R.J. Ochoa tweeted that Barber was "an under-appreciated player when he played." 

"He was vintage NFL," he continued. "A beloved Cowboy by just about every fan."

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