Marion Barber III
|Born:||June 10, 1983|
Plymouth, Minnesota, U.S.
|Died:||June 1, 2022 (aged 38)|
Frisco, Texas, U.S.
|Height:||5 ft 11 in (1.80 m)|
|Weight:||218 lb (99 kg)|
|High school:||Wayzata (Plymouth, Minnesota)|
|NFL Draft:||2005 / Round: 4 / Pick: 109|
|Career highlights and awards|
|Career NFL statistics|
|Player stats at NFL.com · PFR|
Marion Sylvester Barber III (June 10, 1983 – June 1, 2022) was an American professional football player who was a running back for seven seasons in the National Football League (NFL). After playing college football for the Minnesota Golden Gophers, he was drafted by the Dallas Cowboys in the fourth round of the 2005 NFL Draft. He was selected to the Pro Bowl in 2007 during his six-year tenure with the Cowboys. He played for the Chicago Bears in 2011.
He was the older brother of former Houston Texans safety Dominique Barber and Minnesota Golden Gophers linebacker Thomas Barber, and the son of former New York Jets running back Marion Barber Jr. He was also a cousin of Peyton Barber.
Barber attended Wayzata High School in Wayzata, Minnesota, and was a standout in football, baseball, and track. In football, he was a SuperPrep and PrepStar All-Midwest and consensus All-State honoree as a senior running back and as a defensive back. During his last season with the Trojans, Barber amassed 1,778 rushing yards with 18 touchdowns and led his team with 10 interceptions (three of which came against Gatorade National Player of the Year and future Minnesota Twins catcher Joe Mauer). In baseball, he was an Honorable Mention All-Conference center fielder. In his first and only track season, Barber qualified for the 2001 Minnesota State Class AA Championships in the 100 meters. He finished the season with a 100m time of 10.9 seconds.
Like his father, Barber attended the University of Minnesota where he played college football for the Minnesota Golden Gophers. The coaches originally wanted him to play safety, but after seeing him run, they kept him at running back where he eventually ranked fourth on the school's all-time rushing list with 3,276 yards, second with 4,495 all-purpose yards, and second in rushing touchdowns with 35, one better than his father, Marion Barber Jr. Also beginning in his sophomore year, he teamed up with running back Laurence Maroney to form one of the best running back duos in college football, becoming the first-teammates in Division I (NCAA) history to each rush for 1,000 yards in consecutive seasons. He was an All-Big Ten Conference selection in 2003 as a redshirted sophomore.
2005 NFL Combine
|Height||Weight||Arm length||Hand span||40-yard dash||20-yard shuttle||Vertical jump||Broad jump||Bench press|
|5 ft 10+3⁄8 in
|4.49 s||4.17 s||40.0 in
|10 ft 7 in
|All values from NFL Combine/Minnesota Pro Day|
Dallas Cowboys (2005–2010)
After forgoing his senior season of college, the Dallas Cowboys selected Barber in the fourth round, with the 109th overall selection, of the 2005 NFL Draft. A toe infection that required surgery and some preseason fumbles left him at the bottom of the depth chart. An injury to Julius Jones and the ineffectiveness of Anthony Thomas allowed Barber to emerge, and he responded with 95 yards rushing against Seattle and 127 yards against Arizona. Along with his pass-blocking and special teams abilities, this solidified his position as the backup running back for the Cowboys.
Although he was the backup to Julius Jones in 2006, Barber found a niche as a third-down rusher and a closer of games, emerging as an excellent red-zone running back. He led the NFC with 14 rushing touchdowns in 2006 and was the first non-placekicker since 2000 to lead the Cowboys in scoring (96 points).
During the 2007 season, Barber's power running back style earned him the nickname Marion the Barbarian and he was the league leader in breaking tackles, reflecting his personal mantra of "hit or get hit". Barber rushed for 975 yards on 204 carries and 10 rushing touchdowns with a 4.8 yards-per-carry rushing average. He caught 44 passes for 282 yards and two touchdowns.
On December 18, 2007, he was named to his first Pro Bowl despite officially being a backup. Barber received the start in the divisional playoff loss to the New York Giants.
Dallas offered Barber, now as a starter, the highest tender as a restricted free agent in 2008. On May 20, 2008, he signed a seven-year deal for $45 million with the Cowboys with $16 million guaranteed. Before becoming a starter, there was already a worry as to whether his running style could shortened his career; with the additional work, his career longevity was discussed more often, as his yards per carry started to drop down.
During the 2009 season, the emergence of Tashard Choice and Felix Jones, and injury problems limited his success. However, he played in 15 games despite a torn quadriceps muscle. Barber had a disappointing 2010 season as the entire Cowboys team struggled from game one. In 13 games, Barber rushed for 374 yards on 113 carries for a 3.3 yard per carry average, the lowest of his career. His four rushing touchdowns were also the lowest of his career.
Chicago Bears (2011)
Barber was released by Dallas on July 28, 2011. On July 30, 2011, the Chicago Bears signed Barber to a two-year, $5 million contract. Barber beat out Chester Taylor for the Chicago Bears' second string running back position after Matt Forte.
On August 27 in the third pre-season game, Barber hurt his calf muscle and missed the first three games of the regular season due to the injury. In Week 14 against the Denver Broncos, replacing an injured Forte, Barber scored a touchdown and had his first 100-yard game since 2009. However, he ran out of bounds when the Bears needed to run out the clock, allowing the Broncos enough time to overtake the Bears and win the game.
In the 2011 season Barber had 422 yards on 114 carries. Following the 2011 season, Barber announced his retirement from the NFL on March 23, 2012.
NFL career statistics
Personal life and death
In 2014, Barber was detained by police and given a mental evaluation following an incident.
In 2019, Barber was arrested on two counts of criminal mischief for causing damage to two cars while he was running. He pleaded no contest and was sentenced to one year of probation, 60 hours of community service, and a $2,000 fine in April 2022.
Barber was found dead in his apartment in Frisco, Texas on June 1, 2022, at the age of 38. An autopsy revealed that Barber died of heat stroke; according to police, he often exercised in "sauna-like conditions", and he had set the thermostat in his apartment to 91 °F (33 °C) before he died. His death was ruled an accident.
- ^ Greder, Andy (September 28, 2016). "Gophers' cornerback ranks become thinner". Twincities.com. Retrieved June 1, 2022.
- ^ "4 Feb 2001, Page 59 - Star Tribune at". Newspapers.com. February 4, 2001. Retrieved June 1, 2022.
- ^ "Marion Barber, TB, Minnesota". USA Today. May 18, 2005.
- ^ "Mshsl Boys' Class Aa Championships". Raceberryjam.com. Retrieved June 1, 2022.
- ^ "Maroney and Barber: The Best College Running Back Duo of the 21st Century?". WNUR Sports. October 15, 2013. Retrieved June 1, 2022.
- ^ "26 Nov 2003, 13 - The Daily American at". Newspapers.com. November 26, 2003. Retrieved June 2, 2022.
- ^ "2005 Draft Scout Marion Barber III, Minnesota NFL Draft Scout College Football Profile". draftscout.com. Retrieved June 1, 2022.
- ^ "Marion Barber, Combine Results, RB - Minnesota". nflcombineresults.com. Retrieved June 1, 2022.
- ^ "2005 NFL Draft Listing". Pro-Football-Reference.com.
- ^ "31 Oct 2005, 53 - Fort Worth Star-Telegram at". Newspapers.com. October 31, 2005. Retrieved June 2, 2022.
- ^ "6 Jan 2007, 10 - The Olympian at". Newspapers.com. January 6, 2007. Retrieved June 2, 2022.
- ^ "2006 Dallas Cowboys Statistics & Players". Pro-Football-Reference.com.
- ^ "21 Sep 2007, A26 – The Monitor at". Newspapers.com. September 21, 2007. Retrieved June 1, 2022.
- ^ "13 Jan 2008, 22 – The Morning Call at". Newspapers.com. January 13, 2008. Retrieved June 2, 2022.
- ^ "2008 Pro Bowl rosters". NFL.com.
- ^ Werder, Ed (January 12, 2008). "Dallas' Barber to start at running back against Giants". ESPN.com. Retrieved June 4, 2022.
- ^ "21 May 2008, 33 - Fort Worth Star-Telegram at". Newspapers.com. May 21, 2008. Retrieved June 1, 2022.
- ^ "Marion Barber's violent running style makes him an old 27". Dallasnews.com. June 11, 2010. Retrieved June 2, 2022.
- ^ Watkins, Calvin (June 8, 2010). "RB Barber suffered torn quad in Week 2". ESPN.com. Retrieved June 4, 2022.
- ^ Adam Spencer (August 16, 2011). "Dallas Cowboys: 3 Reasons the Cowboys Won't Regret Letting Go of Marion Barber | Bleacher Report | Latest News, Videos and Highlights". Bleacher Report. Retrieved June 2, 2022.
- ^ Rosenthal, Gregg (July 28, 2011). "Release Tracker". Pro Football Talk. Retrieved July 29, 2011.
- ^ McClure, Vaughn (July 30, 2011). "Bears add former Cowboys RB Barber". Chicago Tribune. Archived from the original on July 22, 2012. Retrieved July 30, 2011.
- ^ "4 Sep 2011, Page 43 - The Los Angeles Times at". Newspapers.com. September 4, 2011. Retrieved June 1, 2022.
- ^ "Kelly: Fans will blame Marion Barber if Bears miss playoffs". December 12, 2011 – via Toronto Star.
- ^ McClure, Vaughn (March 23, 2012). "Bears running back Marion Barber retires". Chicago Tribune. Retrieved March 12, 2012.
- ^ "Marion Barber Detained by Police, Given Mental Evaluation Sunday Night – NBC 5 Dallas-Fort Worth". Nbcdfw.com. Retrieved June 2, 2022.
- ^ "Marion Barber III Pleads "No Contest" Following 2019 Arrest – NBC 5 Dallas-Fort Worth". Nbcdfw.com. April 26, 2022. Retrieved June 2, 2022.
- ^ Hill, Clarence E. Jr. (June 2, 2022). "Former Dallas Cowboys RB Marion Barber found dead in his apartment by Frisco police". Fort Worth Star-Telegram. Retrieved June 4, 2022.
- ^ Gaydos, Ryan (July 12, 2022). "Ex-NFL star Marion Barber III's cause of death revealed". Fox News. Retrieved July 12, 2022.
- 1983 births
- 2022 deaths
- 21st-century African-American sportspeople
- Accidental deaths in Texas
- African-American players of American football
- American football running backs
- Barber family
- Chicago Bears players
- Dallas Cowboys players
- Deaths from hyperthermia
- Minnesota Golden Gophers football players
- National Conference Pro Bowl players
- People from Plymouth, Minnesota
- Players of American football from Minnesota
- Sportspeople from the Minneapolis–Saint Paul metropolitan area