Former Dallas Cowboys running back Marion Barber III was found dead in his Frisco apartment on Wednesday, the team confirms.
The team told NBC 5 that Barber, 38, was found unresponsive.
In a press release published late Wednesday afternoonthe team said they were “heartbroken” by his tragic death.
Frisco Police said at 2:40 p.m. Wednesday afternoon that officers responded to a call about a welfare concern at an apartment in the 9400 block of Stratton Drive that was allegedly rented by Barber.
Police describe the inquest as an unattended death.
Barber, who would have turned 39 on June 10, was drafted by the Dallas Cowboys in the fourth round in 2005 and spent six seasons in North Texas where her hard-hitting and punishing running style earned her the nickname “Marion the barbarian”.
After leaving Dallas, Barber would spend a year with the Chicago Bears before retiring from professional football and returning to North Texas.
Throughout his NFL career, Barber rushed for 4,780 yards on 1,156 attempts, averaging 4.1 yards per attempt, and scored 53 rushing touchdowns. As a receiver, he caught 179 passes for 1,330 yards with six touchdowns.
Barber is the older brother of former Houston Texans guard Dominique Barber and former Minnesota Golden Gophers linebacker Thomas Barber. They are the sons of former NFL player Marion Barber Jr.
Barber was also known for his humanitarian efforts, working with his foundation and giving back to his community.
Joe Krywalski, a friend of Barber’s, told NBC 5 on Wednesday that Barber is a wonderful and very generous person. He said Barber was religious, played the piano and wanted to get into boxing.
Over the years Barber has had several minor run-ins with the law and as of last month he did not contest two charges of criminal mischief in 2018 after damaging two vehicles in separate incidents while jogging in Frisco. In 2014, while living in Mansfield, Barber was taken in for a mental evaluation following an altercation outside a restaurant in which a car was damaged.
Billy Clark was his lawyer and more. “To me, he was literally family and I’m so lost I’m not prepared for that,” Clark told NBC 5.
Clark says Barber wanted to write a book about his life and what football and family meant to him.
He said Barber was also training to be a boxer.
“He was in great shape, so when I tell you I’m lost, I am,” Clark said.
The Collin County Medical Examiner’s Office will determine Barber’s cause of death.
NBC 5’s Meredith Yeomans contributed to this report.