Marion Barber III, the former Dallas Cowboys running back, has died, the team said on Wednesday. He was 38.
Barber played a final season with Chicago in 2011 after spending his first six years with the Cowboys. He had issues with mental health after his career.
Police in the Dallas suburb of Frisco said on Wednesday they made a welfare check at an apartment “believed to be leased” by Barber and were investigating an unattended death there.
The Cowboys, who have their headquarters in Frisco, said they were “heartbroken by the tragic death of Marion Barber III.”
“Marion was an old-school, hard-nosed football player who ran with the will to win every down,” the team said. “He had a passion for the game and love for his coaches and teammates.”
Barber’s father, Marion Barber Jr., played seven seasons with the New York Jets in the 1980s.
The younger Barber, a fourth-round draft pick by Dallas in 2005, had 24 touchdowns in 2006-07 despite starting just one game those two seasons. Barber’s career high was 14 TDs in 2006, when he rushed for just 654 yards.
Barber had a career-high 975 yards rushing and 10 TDs in 2007, when he made his only Pro Bowl. His role and production declined from there, and he had careers lows in carries, yards and touchdowns in his final year in Dallas in 2010.
Three years after his career ended, Barber was detained and taken to a hospital for a mental health evaluation. Police in Mansfield, another Dallas suburb, said it wasn’t clear what led to the calls that prompted their response.
The NFL has been hit by a number of deaths in recent months. Arizona Cardinals cornerback Jeff Gladney was killed in a car crash on Monday. In April, Pittsburgh Steelers quarterback Dwayne Haskins was struck and killed by a truck after his car ran out of gas and he exited the vehicle on a freeway.