Former Cowboy Marion Barber III died of heat stroke, according to medical report

Former Dallas Cowboys running back Marion Barber III died of heat stroke, according to a medical report released on Monday.

The Collin County medical examiner’s office ruled Barber’s death accidental in a report issued to USA Today and other media outlets. Barber was found dead in his Frisco, Texas home on June 1 when police arrived to conduct a welfare check. A Frisco police incident report obtained by USA Today states that officers were called to the scene when a neighbor reported water leaking from Barber’s apartment.

Per the medical report, officers arrived to Barber’s apartment to find a bathtub faucet running and the thermostat set to 91 degrees. Police also found workout equipment in the apartment.

“Mr. Barber was known to exercise in sauna-like conditions,” the coroner wrote in Monday’s report.

Barber’s father Marion Barber II told the Ft. Worth Star-Telegram in June that his son’s body was decomposing when officers arrived, suggesting that he died several days prior to being found. The police report states that Barber’s family had not heard from him for six days prior to the discovery of his body.

Barber “was known to have a history of medical problems and mental health concerns,” according to the police report. He was taken by police to a hospital for mental health evaluation in 2014, three years after his final season playing in the NFL.

Barber played seven seasons in the NFL, six of them with the Dallas Cowboys. He played his final season in 2011 with the Chicago Bears. A bruising runner, Barber was known for his downhill running style at his peak with the Cowboys. He made the Pro Bowl in 2007 after tallying 1,257 yards from scrimmage and 12 touchdowns. He played in college at the University of Minnesota.

Barber II told the Star-Telegram in June that the family would not seek CTE testing on his son’s brain.

Former Dallas Cowboys running back Marion Barber III died of heat stroke, according to the Collin County Medical Examiner’s Office (via USA Today). Frisco, Texas, police found Barber dead in his apartment June 1. His death was ruled an accident.

“We are heartbroken by the tragic death of Marion Barber III,” the Cowboys said in a statement following his death. “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.”

Barber, who would have turned 39 on June 10, was drafted by the Dallas Cowboys in the fourth round of the 2005 NFL Draft. Barber spent seven seasons in the NFL, six with the Cowboys from 2005-2010 and one with the Chicago Bears in 2011. He made the Pro Bowl in 2007 while with the Cowboys.

He finished his career with 4,780 rushing yards and 53 rushing touchdowns to go along with 1,330 receiving yards and six receiving touchdowns.

Football is a young man’s game, you might say, especially when you consider how many of the NFL’s premium talents are still playing on rookie contracts. But to overlook the true veterans would be to overlook just as many superstars. In fact, some of the best players at the most important position just happen to be old, by NFL standards.

So let’s celebrate the best of the eldest! We already ranked the top 25 NFL players 25 and under for 2022. Now we’re ranking the top 30 players 30 and over. Some clarifications:

Former Dallas Cowboys running back Marion Barber III died of an accidental heat stroke, according to a report by the Collin County Medical Examiner’s office.

Barber, a punishing staple in the Cowboys backfield for six seasons, was found dead on June 1 at his Frisco apartment after police were asked to do a welfare check. He was 38.

According to the autopsy and police report, copies of which were obtained by The Dallas Morning News, one of the showers in Barber’s apartment was running when officers arrived. The unit’s heat was on and the thermostat was set to 91 degrees.

Exercise equipment was observed by officers and “Mr. Barber was known to exercise in sauna-like conditions,” the report states.

According to the autopsy report, there was no evidence of trauma or drug overuse.

“I hold him in high regard,” former Cowboys coach Bill Parcells told The News last month. “I hate to bring up football now because that’s not important, but he was almost like a perfect player. In this respect, he could run, block, he could catch, he was tough and he was always there. So that’s what I’ll say about him.”

“I am truly heartbroken to hear the incredibly sad news of Marion Barber’s passing,” former Cowboys coach Jason Garrett said in a text message to The News before releasing a statement on Twitter on June 1. “He was a rare guy! Marion played the game with such passion! He had a deep-down love for football and it showed in everything that he did!

“He would run through the wall for you and he always had your back. I absolutely love Marion Barber and will miss him very much. Brill [Garrett’s wife] and I are so saddened by this news and extend our sincere condolences to the Barber family and all who loved him.”

A 2005 fourth-round pick out of the University of Minnesota, Barber spent the first six years of his NFL career with the Cowboys before his release. He spent one season with the Chicago Bears before announcing his retirement in 2012.

Barber led the Cowboys in rushing for three consecutive seasons. The highlight of his time with the club came in 2007, when he rushed for 975 yards with 10 touchdowns and was named to the Pro Bowl for a Dallas team that compiled a 13-3 record.

Barber finished his career with 4,780 rushing yards and 53 touchdowns. He caught 179 passes for another 1,330 yards and six touchdowns.

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