NFL notebook: Former Cowboys running back Marion Barber found dead in Texas apartment

DALLAS – Marion Barber, a punishing staple in the Dallas Cowboys backfield for six seasons, was found dead Wednesday at his Frisco home.

Frisco police said officers were asked to perform a welfare check at an apartment believed to be leased by Barber and that there was an “unattended death” at the location.

The Cowboys confirmed the death of Barber – who was nine days shy of his 39th birthday – in a statement on Twitter.

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

The Collin County medical examiner’s office has not released the cause and manner of Barber’s death.

A 2005 fourth-round pick out of the University of Minnesota, Barber spent the first six years of his NFL career with the Cowboys before his release. He spent one season with the Chicago Bears before announcing his retirement in 2012.

Barber led the Cowboys in rushing for three consecutive seasons. The highlight of his time with the club came in 2007, when he rushed for 975 yards with 10 touchdowns and was named to the Pro Bowl for a Dallas team that compiled a 13-3 record.

Barber finished his career with 4,780 rushing yards and 53 touchdowns. He caught 179 passes for another 1,330 yards and six touchdowns.

Team officials and former teammates have been saddened by Barber’s struggles in recent years.

Two years after his retirement, he was detained by Mansfield police and taken to a hospital for a mental health evaluation.

Barber was arrested by Prosper police in October 2019 on two misdemeanor counts of criminal mischief.

Police alleged in an arrest-warrant affidavit that he had purposefully damaged two women’s cars while running on Main Street. The women said their cars suffered thousands of dollars of damages.

Barber pleaded no contest to those charges in April and was given deferred-adjudication probation.

COMMANDERS: The US House Committee on Oversight and Reform has invited NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell and Washington Commanders owner Dan Snyder to appear at a hearing later this month as part of the Congressional investigation into the team’s workplace conduct.

Chairwoman Carolyn B. Maloney and Subcommittee on Economic and Consumer Policy Chairman Raja Krishnamoorthi said Wednesday they sent letters to the league and team requesting the presence of Goodell and Snyder on June 22.

It was not immediately clear if the committee expected either to make an appearance. NFL spokesman Brian McCarthy said the league had received the invitation “and will respond directly in a timely manner.”

McCarthy added, “The NFL has cooperated extensively throughout the Committee’s lengthy investigation of Washington Commanders, including by producing more than 460,000 pages of documents and responding to numerous questions in writing and in conversations with the committee’s staff.”

Messages sent to representatives for Snyder and the Commanders were not immediately returned.

Congress launched an investigation into the organization’s workplace culture in October after the league declined to release a report last year about an independent review it oversaw, which led to a $ 10 million fine. The committee described the upcoming hearing as the next step in the investigation and said it will examine how the NFL handles allegations of workplace misconduct and how it sets and enforces standards for all teams.

“We must have transparency and accountability, which is why we are calling on Mr. Goodell and Mr. Snyder to answer the questions they have dodged for the last seven months, ”Maloney, a Democrat from New York, said in a statement. “The hearing will explore how Congress can act to prevent employers from silencing victims of workplace misconduct and ensure that what happened at the Commanders organization does not happen again.”

Krishnamoorthi, an Illinois Democrat, said the committee has been stoned for seven months by nondisclosure agreements for former employees and other tools “to evade accountability.”

Snyder in the summer of 2020 hired attorney Beth Wilkinson to investigate allegations of workplace misconduct after several former employees made assertions about the work environment. The league took over control of that investigation, which concluded last summer.

Congress has urged Goodell to release a written report of the investigation. The league has said repeatedly it has no plans to do so.

Lawyers Lisa Banks and Debra Katz, who represent more than 40 former team employees, said in a statement Wednesday they were pleased to see the committee invite Goodell and Snyder to appear.

“We hope they will demonstrate the same courage as our clients and agree to testify,” they said. “Dan Snyder and Roger Goodell have a lot to answer for.”
When asked about the situation after the latest Commanders offseason workout, coach Ron Rivera declined comment.

STEELERS: Stephon Tuitt’s NFL career is over.

The Pittsburgh Steelers’ defensive lineman announced his retirement, saying he feels called to move on from the game following the death of his younger brother in June 2021 and Tuitt’s recent graduation from Notre Dame.

Tuitt had 34 1/2 sacks with the Steelers, who selected him in the second round of the 2014 draft. He had a career-best 11 sacks in 2020 while helping Pittsburgh win the AFC North title.

Tuitt, however, did not play last season after his younger brother, Richard Barlett III, was killed in a hit-and-run accident in Georgia last June. Tuitt also underwent knee surgery over the summer and while he did go through an extensive rehab, he did not return to action.

VIKINGS: The Minnesota Vikings signed eight-year veteran wide receiver Albert Wilson, adding an experienced option for more depth at the position.

The 5-foot-9, 195-pound Wilson spent the past four seasons with the Miami Dolphins, where he was most productive in 2018 with 391 yards and four touchdowns. Prior to that, he played four years for the Kansas City Chiefs. Wilson had a career-high 554 yards with three scores in 13 games in 2017.

BROWNS: David Njoku has gone from wanting out of the Cleveland Browns to locking in with them.

Cleveland announced Gnocchi’s four-year, $ 56.75 million contract extension, a deal that could take the tight end through the 2027 season.

A first-round draft pick in 2017, Gnocchi will be among the NFL’s highest-paid tight ends without putting up elite statistics. He caught 36 passes for 475 yards and a team-high four touchdowns last season.

But the Browns believe the 25-year-old Gnocchi is just reaching his prime and could be on the verge of a breakout, which is why they invested in him.


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