Marion Barber III, who spent his last NFL season as a Bears running back, has died, the Cowboys confirmed Wednesday. The Fort Worth Star-Telegram said he was found in his Frisco, Texas, apartment, but did not cite a cause of death. He was 38.
Barber ran for more than 500 yards in all but one of his six Cowboys seasons from 2005-10. As Julius Jones’ platoon partner in 2007, Barber made the Pro Bowl despite not starting a game.
Barber backed up the Bears’ Matt Forte in 2011, rushing 114 times for 422 yards and six touchdowns.
“We are saddened to learn of the passing of former Bears RB Marion Barber III,” the Bears said in a statement. “Our hearts go out to his family & friends.”
His season was marred by a Week 11 gaffe against the Broncos. With the Bears up three and trying to run out the clock with two minutes left, Barber took a handoff left and allowed linebacker D.J. Williams to shove him out of bounds.
The Bears eventually punted and the Broncos tied it on a 59-yard Matt Prater field goal. Six plays into overtime, Barber fumbled as the Bears were setting up a field goal. The Broncos recovered and eventually won on a 51-yard field goal.
Before he ran for 4,780 yards as a pro, Barber starred at Minnesota, finishing with 35 touchdowns — two more than his father of the same name, who also played for the Golden Gophers.