Marion Barber III, the former Dallas Cowboys running back who is fourth in franchise history with 47 rushing touchdowns, has died, the team said Wednesday. He was 38.
Barber played a final season with Chicago in 2011 after spending his first six years with the Cowboys. He had issues with mental health after his career.
Police in the Dallas suburb of Frisco said Wednesday they made a welfare check at an apartment “believed to be leased” by Barber and were investigating an unattended death there.
The Cowboys, who have their headquarters in Frisco, said they were “heartbroken by the tragic death of Marion Barber III.”
“Marion was an old-school, hard-nosed football player who ran with the will to win every down,” the team said. “He had a passion for the game and love for his coaches and teammates.”
Barber’s father, Marion Barber Jr., played seven seasons with the New York Jets in the 1980s.
The younger Barber was third on Dallas’ career list for rushing touchdowns before getting passed in 2021 by two-time NFL rushing champion Ezekiel Elliott.
Barber finished with 53 overall and never had fewer than four in any of his seven seasons, even though he never had a 1,000-yard rushing season.
Barber had a career-high 975 yards rushing and 10 TDs in 2007, when he made his only Pro Bowl.
Three years after his career ended, Barber was detained and taken to a hospital for a mental health evaluation.
Police in Mansfield, another Dallas suburb, said it wasn’t clear what led to the calls that prompted their response.