Ex-Dallas Cowboys star Marion Barber III found dead

Frisco, Texas - Marion Barber III, the former Dallas Cowboys and Chicago Bears running back, has tragically passed away at the age of just 38.

Marion Barber III at a game between the Dallas Cowboys and the Arizona Cardinals in 2010.
Marion Barber III at a game between the Dallas Cowboys and the Arizona Cardinals in 2010.  © Christian Petersen / GETTY IMAGES NORTH AMERICA / AFP

Police in Fiasco, Texas, said they responded to a welfare call on Wednesday, which led them to the former athlete's apartment. According to ESPN, officials reported an "unattended death," without naming Barber.

The Cowboys were among the first to break the terrible news with a statement that said they were left "heartbroken" by the death of their former player.

Barber joined the organization as a fourth-round pick in the 2005 NFL draft and went on to play 88 games until he left to join the Bears in 2011, where he retired.

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Chicago also reacted with a tweet, which read: "We are saddened to learn of the passing of former Bears RB Marion Barber III. Our hearts go out to his family & friends."

Nicknamed "Marion the Barbarian" for his tough-as-nails running style, Barber's best season came in 2007, when he was named to the Pro Bowl after leading the Cowboys in rushing and touchdowns.

In 2014, the Minnesota native was taken into custody by police in Mansfield, Texas, and hospitalized for a mental check-up.

Barber's lawyer, Billy Clark, said his client – whom he called "literally family" – had been training to be a boxer. "He was in tip-top shape, so when I tell you I'm at a loss, I am," he told NBC 5.

If you or someone you know need help, please contact the 24-hour National Suicide Prevention Hotline at 1-800-273-TALK (8255) for free and confidential support.

Cover photo: Christian Petersen / GETTY IMAGES NORTH AMERICA / AFP

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