No. 56, 59, 55, 51
|Date of birth:February 10, 1950|
|Place of birth: Waco, Texas|
|High school: George Washington Carver|
|NFL Draft: 1973 / Round: 7 / Pick: 176|
|Debuted in 1973 for the Dallas Cowboys|
|Last played in 1976 for the Oakland Raiders|
Career highlights and awards
Career NFL statistics
|Stats at pro-football-reference.com|
|Stats at DatabaseFootball.com|
Rodrigo DeTriana Barnes (born February 10, 1950 in Waco, Texas) is a former American football linebacker in the National Football League. He played 32 games in four seasons and was a part of the Oakland Raiders Super Bowl XI winning team.
Barnes attended George Washington Carver High School, where he received 3A second-team All-State honors in football. He went on to play at Rice University, where at the time he was one of only four African-American. He also became the first African-American to be named to the All-SWC defensive team.
In college he was one of the organizers of the Black Student Union. He also was part of a movement to pressure the University to hire more African-American teachers and coaches.
In 2011, he was inducted into the Rice Athletic Hall of Fame.
He was selected in the seventh round of the 1973 NFL Draft by the Dallas Cowboys, after he dropped because teams were cautious of his civil rights activism. His athletic ability and production, propelled him to become the first African-American linebacker to make the team in franchise history.
Barnes could play all three linebacker positions, but he mainly competed for the middle linebacker position against Lee Roy Jordan. His best moment came in a preseason game in 1973 against the Miami Dolphins, when he helped stop Larry Csonka three times in a row, during a 2-yard goal-line stand.
His relationship with the team started to deteriorate, with his growing belief that racial reasons were the main cause of him remaining in a reserve role. He eventually was released in November 1974.
New England Patriots (first stint)
Charlotte Hornets (WFL)
New England Patriots (second stint)
St. Louis Cardinals
On November 15, 1976, the Oakland Raiders signed him as a free agent, because of injuries in the linebacking corps. He was a part of the Super Bowl XI winning team, playing mainly on special teams. Injuries forced him to retire in 1977.