How Did Marion Barber III Die? Ex-Dallas Cowboys Running Back Found Dead Under Mysterious Circumstances

Police reached Barber's home after someone in the complex had called about a water leak coming from his apartment.

Former Dallas Cowboys star running back Marion Barber III was found dead in his apartment under mysterious circumstances on Wednesday. He was 38 years old and would have celebrated his 39th birthday next week. A cause of death hasn't been revealed as police continue to investigate the case.

Barber spent his final season with the Bears in 2011, after six years with the Cowboys. He retired in March of 2012 after a final year with the Chicago Bears. According to reports, after his career, he struggled with mental health concerns. However, police still isn't sure if it is a case of suicide, murder or just natural death.

Found Dead

Marion Barber
Marion Barber died at 38 Twitter

Police in the Dallas suburb of Frisco said on Wednesday that officers made a welfare check at an apartment "believed to be leased" by Barber and were investigating an unattended death there. Police reached Barber's home after someone in the complex had called about a water leak coming from his apartment.

After no one responded, they broke open the door and forced their way in only to find Barber dead. An investigation has now been launched along with the Collin County Medical Examiner's Office.

"Frisco Police along with the Collin County Medical Examiner's Office are investigating an unattended death at the location," the department said in a statement.

Marion Barber
Marion Barber Twitter

"We are heartbroken by the tragic death of Marion Barber III," the Cowboys said in a statement. "Marion was an old-school, hard-nosed football player who ran with the will to win every down. He had a passion for the game and love for his coaches and teammates.

"Our hearts go out to Marion's family and friends during this difficult time."

Marion Barber
Marion Barber Twitter

The Chicago Bears also sent their condolences to his family, and the NFL issued a statement on Wednesday night saying, " We extend our deepest condolences to his family and loved ones."

A Real Star

Barber, a Pro Bowler in 2007 with the Cowboys, was noted for his aggressive and punishing style of rushing. He came from a football-loving family, as his father, Marion Jr., and brother, Dominique, who also were NFL players. Thomas, his younger brother, was also a member of the University of Minnesota football team.

Marion Barber
Marion Barber Twitter

He did not appear to have a partner or children. Barber began his football career as a running back for the University of Minnesota before being drafted fourth overall by the Dallas Cowboys in the 2005-2006 season.

He went on to play in the NFL for seven years, including six with the Dallas Cowboys and one with the Chicago Bears, between 2005 and 2011. He announced his retirement prior to the start of the 2012 season, playing his last season with the Chicago Bears.

Barber amassed 4,780 running yards and 53 rushing touchdowns during his career. His quickness earned him the moniker "Marion the Barbarian."

He has had a couple of run-ins with the law since leaving the NFL. He was arrested and sent to the hospital for a mental health evaluation in 2014. Due to a 2018 incident in which he was suspected of damaging two cars, he was arrested in 2019 on two misdemeanor charges of criminal mischief.

Dez Bryant, a former Cowboys receiver, tweeted last year that he could no longer enjoy viewing old Barber highlights "since he's down and out awful."