Former Cowboys, Bears RB Marion Barber III Dies at Age 38

Paul KasabianFeatured Columnist IIJune 2, 2022

Football: Dallas Cowboys Marion Barber (24) in action, rushing vs Houston Texans. Houston, TX 9/26/2010 CREDIT: John Biever (Photo by John Biever /Sports Illustrated via Getty Images) (Set Number: X84764 TK1 R4 F131 )
Set Number: X84764 TK1 R4 F131

Former Dallas Cowboys and Chicago Bears running back Marion Barber III has died at the age of 38.

According to Annie Gimbel of CBS DFW, Barber was found dead in his apartment by authorities during a welfare check Wednesday. There were no obvious signs of foul play.

The Cowboys and Bears issued their condolences via social media:

Dallas Cowboys @dallascowboys

<a href="https://t.co/Va9RUr4kLU">pic.twitter.com/Va9RUr4kLU</a>

Chicago Bears @ChicagoBears

We are saddened to learn of the passing of former Bears RB Marion Barber III. Our hearts go out to his family &amp; friends.

Barber starred at Minnesota during the early 2000s while forming a dynamic rushing duo with future NFL running back Laurence Maroney.

Both of them amassed over 1,100 rushing yards apiece in 2003 and 2004. The 2003 team won 10 games and finished 20th in the Associated Press poll.

For his collegiate career, Barber rushed for 3,276 yards and 35 touchdowns for a 5.7-yard-per-attempt clip. He notably amassed 2,465 yards and 28 touchdowns between 2003 and 2004.

The Cowboys selected Barber in the fourth round of the 2005 NFL draft. He enjoyed a great four-year stretch from 2006 to 2009, accumulating 4,562 yards from scrimmage and 44 touchdowns, including 16 scores in 2006 alone.

Barber's best season occurred for the 2007 Cowboys, who went 13-3, won the NFC East and finished first in the conference standings.

He amassed a career-high 975 rushing yards alongside 10 touchdowns and a Pro Bowl appearance. Barber's 248 touches led a Cowboys team that finished second in scoring only behind the historically great New England Patriots.

The former Golden Gopher was a force to be reckoned with on the football field, as this highlight reel shows.

SportsDay Cowboys @dmn_cowboys

3 minutes and 25 seconds of Marion Barber being a PROBLEM 😤<br><br>(via <a href="https://twitter.com/nflthrowback?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">@nflthrowback</a>) <a href="https://t.co/9lJkelqTwo">pic.twitter.com/9lJkelqTwo</a>

The Cowboys released Barber after 2010, and he signed with the Bears for 2011. He worked as the RB2 behind Matt Forte in Chicago before retiring in 2012.

Many people offered their remembrances of his excellent play alongside condolences upon news of his death.

Field Yates @FieldYates

Marion Barber was the definition of a tenacious runner. He always made something out of nothing. <br><br>This was the most incredible 2-yard run ever.<br><br>RIP. <a href="https://t.co/NwFlgWLtxQ">pic.twitter.com/NwFlgWLtxQ</a>

Ian Hartitz @Ihartitz

RIP Marion Barber. The man was so fun to watch

Marcus Mosher @Marcus_Mosher

Marion Barber was one of the toughest running backs I've ever seen. Ugh. This one hurts.

RJ Ochoa @rjochoa

Marion Barber III was such an under-appreciated player when he played.<br><br>He was vintage NFL. A beloved Cowboy by just about every fan.<br><br>May he Rest In Peace. <a href="https://t.co/zSzidN10Lr">https://t.co/zSzidN10Lr</a>

Taylor Rooks @TaylorRooks

Just awful news. Incredibly sad. Rest In Peace to Marion Barber. All thoughts love and prayers to his loved ones. <a href="https://t.co/KzFEf1Zwru">https://t.co/KzFEf1Zwru</a>

Jacob Infante @jacobinfante24

RIP Marion Barber…just 38 years old.<br><br>He spent the 2011 season with the <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/Bears?src=hash&amp;ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">#Bears</a> and was a force to be reckoned with the Cowboys. Such a powerful runner.

Perhaps the most notable remembrance came from ESPN's Turron Davenport, who recognized the work Barber did in the communities where he played.


RIP to Marion Barber. 39 yrs old. Gone way too soon. Great dude. I remember working his camp in 2011 in Minnesota. He fed over 100 kids gave them shirts too. Barber purchased over $500k in computers for a less fortunate school district on Dallas that same year. <a href="https://t.co/rsS4QDecEE">pic.twitter.com/rsS4QDecEE</a>

Barber ended his career with 6,110 scrimmage yards and 59 touchdowns in seven seasons (99 games).