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Former Dallas Cowboys running back Marion Barber III is found dead in his apartment

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Former Dallas Cowboys star running back Marion Barber III was found dead in his apartment on Wednesday.

His death comes exactly a week before his 39th birthday, on June 10.

It remains unclear what led to his death, but the Fort Worth Star-Telegram The Frisco, Texas Police Department responded Wednesday to a welfare check at Barber’s apartment because someone in the complex had called about a water leak coming from his apartment.

Police then broke in and reportedly found Barber dead. They are now investigating the death, along with the Collin County Medical Examiner’s Office.

In a statement, the Dallas Cowboys said: “We are heartbroken by the tragic death of Marion Barber III.

“Marion was an old-fashioned footballer with a hard nose who ran with the will to win every defeat. He had a passion for the game and love for his coaches and teammates.

“Our thoughts go out to Marion’s family and friends at this difficult time.”

The Chicago Bears also extended their condolences to his family and the NFL tweeted Wednesday evening: “We extend our deepest condolences to his family and loved ones.”

Former Dallas Cowboys running back Marion Barber was found dead in his Frisco, Texas apartment on Wednesday at age 38.

Police reportedly responded to a call about water leaking from his apartment when they found him dead.  He is seen here signing autographs for a young fan in 2010

Police reportedly responded to a call about water leaking from his apartment when they found him dead. He is seen here signing autographs for a young fan in 2010

Former Dallas Cowboys coach Jason Garrett tweeted that Marion Barber's style of play was infectious and that he will really miss him

Former Dallas Cowboys coach Jason Garrett tweeted that Marion Barber’s style of play was infectious and that he will really miss him

Former Cowboys receiver Dez Bryant called for unity after Barber's death

Former Cowboys receiver Dez Bryant called for unity after Barber’s death

Barber came from a football-loving family, with his father, Marion Jr., and brother, Dominique, who also played in the NFL. His younger brother, Thomas, also played for the University of Minnesota.

It does not appear that he had a partner or children.

He began his football career as a running back for the University of Minnesota before joining the Cowboys as a fourth-round player in the 2005-2006 season.

Barber played in the NFL for seven years, including six for the Cowboys, between 2005 and 2011, and one season with the Chicago Bears.

He withdrew before the start of the 2012 season.

Over the course of his career, Barber racked up 4,780 rushing yards and 53 rushing touchdowns. His running style even earned him the nickname ‘Marion the Barbarian’.

His teammates remembered him on Wednesday as a calm and respectful man off the field, punishing opponents on the roster.

“His physical style and ruthless spirit were infectious,” tweeted former Dallas Cowboys coach Jason Garrett.

‘It was impossible not to notice No. 24! He jumped off the tape,” he said, adding, “I can remember countless runs where he would keep the piece alive.

“Say it’s a blow to one side, and you get hit and there’s nothing there, and you’re like ‘go down deep, turn the field’, six guys would tackle him, he’d shake them off . It was incredible.

“He was always reaching out,” Garrett said. “He always gave the punch. His playing style was infectious.’

Barber never complained about anything, according to former teammate Greg Ellis, who shared: USA today which Barber “embodies what it means to be humble.”

Garrett added: “As great a player as Marion was, he was an even better person.

“He loved his teammates and his coaches! His teammates and coaches loved him!

“Anyone who was lucky enough to be around him knows the impact he made on all the people in his life,” Garrett said. “He made us all better!”

“Marion was so sincere, so selfless, so giving,” he continued. “He would run through the wall in front of you and he was always behind you.

“I absolutely love Marion Barber and will miss him very much.”

Over the course of his career, Barber scored 4,780 rushing yards and 53 rushing touchdowns.  His running style even earned him the nickname "Marion the Barbarian." He is pictured in a game against the New York Giants in 2009

Over the course of his career, Barber scored 4,780 rushing yards and 53 rushing touchdowns. His running style even earned him the nickname ‘Marion the Barbarian’. He is pictured in a game against the New York Giants in 2009

After retiring, Barber went through hard times and was arrested in 2019 for damaging multiple cars while running

After retiring, Barber went through hard times and was arrested in 2019 for damaging multiple cars while running

The NFL sent its condolences to the Barber family after former Dallas Cowboys who drove Marion Barber III back was found dead in his apartment

The NFL sent its condolences to the Barber family after former Dallas Cowboys who drove Marion Barber III back was found dead in his apartment

But since he retired from the game, Barber has been through some rough times.

He has been hospitalized twice for mental health evaluations, the Star-Tribune reports, and was arrested in 2019 on two criminal mischief offenses for damaging multiple cars while running.

A witness said at the time that Barber rushed toward their vehicle and caused large dents in the side of their car.

Barber argued for no contest to close the case in April, TMZ reports.

Last year, former Cowboys receiver Dez Bryant tweeted that he could no longer enjoy watching Barber’s old highlights ’cause he’s down and out bad.

“For most people, we are just a statistic and moments.”

And in a tweet on Wednesday, Bryant wrote: “This is real life, it could be any of us.

“We need each other, we need unity.”

He explained in a video statement along with the tweet: “I see the problem among themselves.

“We can’t walk around here thinking it’s not me, because there’s been more of me than you can imagine.

“RIP to all our fallen soldiers,” he concluded.

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