Former NFL running back Marion Barber has passed away. According to Clarence Hill Jr. of the Forth Worth Star Telegram, local police found him dead in his apartment in Frisco, TX, on Wednesday.
No cause of death has yet been announced. Barber was just 38 years old.
Barber originally joined the NFL as a fourth-round draft selection by the Dallas Cowboys in 2005. Throughout his seven-year career as a pro, which also included a one-year stint with the Chicago Bears in 2011, appeared in a combined 103 regular season and playoff games. Along the way, the Minnesota product gained over 6,000 yards from scrimmage.
Barber was a productive player for the Cowboys and, to a lesser degree, in Chicago. He also was one of the most physical running backs in the league at the time, something perfectly illustrated by what is arguably his signature play.
Back in 2007, Barber had what very well might be the most spectacular 2-yard run in NFL history. On the other side of the ball were none other than the mighty 2007 New England Patriots, who would become the only team to ever finish a regular season 16-0.
Facing a 1st-and-20 in the third quarter, Dallas decided to hand the ball off to its lead back. Barber initially ran into a wall, however, with defensive lineman Jarvis Green and safety Rodney Harrison setting a hard edge that prevented him from bouncing to the outside.
Harrison eventually got a grasp of Barber, but he managed to spin away near the goal line. However, he moved right into first-team All-Pro Ty Warren and future Hall of Famer Junior Seau; neither of them was able to take him down for a potential safety. Instead, Barber bounced off of both tackle attempts.
Six yards deep into the end zone, his position was far from favorable. And yet, he managed to get out.
Barber out-ran four defenders — Vince Wilfork, James Sanders, Green and Asante Samuel — before crossing the goal line to get back into the field of play. He then was able to get past Mike Vrabel before Eugene Wilson eventually pushed him out of bounds after a hard-earned gain of two yards.
The Cowboys eventually ended up losing with a final score of 48-27, but Barber’s third-quarter run was one of the highlight-reel plays of the game and his entire career.