In June, one of the most prominent running backs in the NFL, Marion Barber III, passed away suddenly in an accidental manner, according to the Frisco, Texas police department. On Monday, the athlete’s true cause of death was revealed to the public.
“We are heartbroken by the tragic death of Marion Barber III,” the Cowboys wrote in a statement when his death was announced. “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.”
His death was confirmed after neighbors noticed an abnormal smell coming from his apartment. In order to ensure nothing was wrong, they requested a welfare check. However, when police arrived at the scene, he was found dead. At the time, the police department declined to answer how exactly the NFL star died, they only referred to the manner as accidental.
However, on Monday, the Colin County Coroner’s Office confirmed the real reason behind Barber’s death: at the age of 38, he died of heat stroke. The football player supposedly had a history of working out in extremley hot conditions and when investigators arrived, the thermostat was reportedly running and his apartment was at a warm 91 degrees.
‘Sauna-like conditions’ likely contributed to Marion Barber’s sudden death
“Mr. Barber was known to exercise in sauna-like conditions,” the coroner wrote in the autopsy report. Additionally, the police relayed that the former NFL player “was known to have a history of medical problems and mental health concerns,” which may have made him more succeptible to a sudden death.
Due to his significant prescene on the field, his former team was open about their grieving process. In the six years he spent with the Dallas Cowboys, he accumulated 4,000 yards and 47 touchdowns, all of which Barber’s ex-coach Jason Garrett remembers fondly.
“There were so many plays,” Garrett told USA TODAY Sports last month, reflecting fondly on the player’s running style. “I can remember just countless runs where he would keep the play alive. Say it’s a sweep to one side and you get hit and there’s nothing there and you’d be like ‘go down deep, reverse the field.’ Six guys would tackle him, he’d shake them off. It was incredible.”
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