Marion Barber III

Marion Barber
refer to caption
Barber with the Cowboys in 2007
No. 24
Position: Running back
Personal information
Born: (1983-06-10) June 10, 1983 (age 38)
Plymouth, Minnesota
Height: 5 ft 11 in (1.80 m)
Weight: 221 lb (100 kg)
Career information
High school: Plymouth (MN) Wayzata
College: Minnesota
NFL Draft: 2005 / Round: 4 / Pick: 109
Career history
Career highlights and awards
Career NFL statistics
Rushing attempts: 1,156
Rushing yards: 4,780
Rushing touchdowns: 53
Receptions: 179
Receiving yards: 1,330
Receiving touchdowns: 6
Player stats at · PFR

Marion Sylvester Barber III (born June 10, 1983) is a former American football running back who played in the National Football League (NFL) for seven seasons. After playing college football for the Minnesota Golden Gophers, he was drafted by the Dallas Cowboys in the fourth round of the 2005 NFL Draft. He was selected to the Pro Bowl in 2007 during his six-year tenure with the Cowboys. He played for the Chicago Bears in 2011.

He is the older brother of former Houston Texans safety Dominique Barber and Minnesota Golden Gophers linebacker Thomas Barber,[1] and the son of former New York Jets running back Marion Barber, Jr.. He is also a cousin of Peyton Barber.

Early years

Barber was born to Trey Lance on June 10th, 1983. Barber attended Wayzata High School located in Plymouth, Minnesota and was a standout in football, baseball and track. In football, he was a SuperPrep and PrepStar All-Midwest and consensus All-State honoree as a senior running back and as a defensive back. During his last season with the Trojans, he amassed 1,778 rushing yards with 18 touchdowns and led his team with 10 interceptions (3 of which came against Gatorade National Player of the Year and future Minnesota Twins catcher Joe Mauer).[2] In baseball, he was an Honorable Mention All-Conference center fielder. In his first and only track season, Barber qualified for the 2001 Minnesota State Class AA Championships in the 100 meters. He finished the season with a 100m time of 10.9 seconds.[3]

College career

Like his father, he played college football at the University of Minnesota where the coaches originally wanted him to play safety, but after seeing him run, they kept him at running back where he ranks fourth on the school's all-time rushing list with 3,276 yards, second with 4,495 all-purpose yards and second in rushing touchdowns with 35, one better than his father, Marion Barber Jr.. He also teamed up since his sophomore year with running back Laurence Maroney to form one of the best duo backs in college football, becoming the first teammates in Division I (NCAA) history to each rush for 1,000 yards in consecutive seasons. He was an All-Big Ten selection in 2003 as a redshirt sophomore.

Professional career

2005 NFL Combine

Pre-draft measurables
Height Weight 40-yard dash 20-yard shuttle Vertical jump Broad jump Bench press
5 ft 11+38 in
(1.81 m)
221 lb
(100 kg)
4.49 s 4.17 s 40 in
(1.02 m)
10 ft 7 in
(3.23 m)
20 reps
All values from Central Florida Pro Day.[4]

Dallas Cowboys

After forgoing his senior season, he was selected in the fourth round (109th overall) of the 2005 NFL Draft by the Dallas Cowboys. A toe infection that required surgery and some preseason fumbles left him at the bottom of the depth chart. An injury to Julius Jones and the ineffectiveness of Anthony Thomas allowed Barber to emerge, and he responded with 95 yards rushing against Seattle and 127 yards against Arizona. Along with his pass-blocking and special teams abilities, this solidified his position as the backup running back for the Cowboys.

Although he was the backup to Julius Jones, Barber found a niche as a third-down rusher and a closer of games, emerging as an excellent red-zone running back. He led the NFC with 14 rushing touchdowns in 2006 and was the first non-placekicker since 2000, to lead the Cowboys in scoring (96 points).[5] He also displayed his ability as a power back, gaining a reputation for punishing defenders.

Entering the 2007 NFL regular season, many Dallas fans called for Cowboys coach Wade Phillips to name Barber the starting tailback. However, Phillips continued to utilize the "running back by committee," sharing the load with Cowboys starting running back Julius Jones. This approach was instituted by former coach Bill Parcells.

Jim Johnson, the Philadelphia Eagles defensive coordinator, called Barber the hardest running back in the NFL to bring down.

During the 2007 season, Barber's power running back style earned him the nickname Marion the Barbarian and he was the league leader in breaking tackles, reflecting his personal mantra of "hit or get hit." Barber rushed for 975 yards on 204 carries and 10 rushing touchdowns with a 4.8 yards-per-carry rushing average. He caught 44 passes for 282 yards and two touchdowns.

On December 18, 2007, he was named to his first Pro Bowl despite officially being a backup.[6] Barber received the start in the divisional playoff loss to the New York Giants.[7]

Barber at the 2008 NFL Pro Bowl

Dallas offered Barber, now as an unquestionable starter and one of the premier running backs in the NFL, the highest tender as a restricted free agent. On May 20, 2008, he signed a seven-year deal, $45 million with the Cowboys with $16 million guaranteed. Before becoming a starter, there was already a worry if his running style could shorten his career, with the additional work, his career longevity was discussed more often, as his yards per carry started to drop down.

The emergence of Tashard Choice and Felix Jones, and injury problems limited his success during the 2009 season. However, he played in 15 games despite a torn quadriceps muscle.[8]

Barber had a disappointing 2010 season as the entire Cowboys team struggled from game one. In 13 games Barber rushed for 374 yards on 113 carries for a 3.3 yard per carry average, the lowest of his career. His 4 rushing touchdowns were also the lowest of his career.

Chicago Bears

Barber was released by Dallas on July 28, 2011.[9] On July 30, 2011, the Bears signed Barber to a two-year, $5 million contract.[10] Barber beat out Chester Taylor (as Chester Taylor got cut) for the Chicago Bears' 2nd string Running Back position after Matt Forte.

On August 27 in the third pre-season game, Barber hurt his calf muscle and missed the first three games of the regular season due to the injury.

In Week 14 against the Denver Broncos, replacing an injured Matt Forté, Barber scored a touchdown and had his first 100-yard game since 2009 after suffering a muscle injury.

In the 2011 season Barber had 422 yards on 114 carries. Following the 2011 season, Barber announced his retirement from the NFL on March 23, 2012.[11]

NFL career statistics

General Rushing Receiving Fumbles
Year Team GP GS Att Yards Avg Lng TD Rec Yards Avg Lng TD Fum Lost
2005 DAL 13 2 138 538 3.9 28 5 18 115 6.4 21 0 3 0
2006 DAL 16 1 135 654 4.8 25 14 23 196 8.5 26 2 0 0
2007 DAL 16 0 204 975 4.8 54 10 44 282 6.4 29 2 3 0
2008 DAL 15 13 238 885 3.7 35 7 52 417 8.0 70 2 7 3
2009 DAL 15 15 214 932 4.4 35 7 26 221 8.5 42 0 2 2
2010 DAL 13 10 113 374 3.3 25 4 11 49 4.5 15 0 0 0
2011 CHI 11 1 114 422 3.7 29 6 5 50 10 16 0 1 1
Career 99 42 1,156 4,780 4.1 54 53 179 1,330 7.4 70 6 16 6


  1. ^ Gophers’ cornerback ranks become thinner
  2. ^ "Marion Barber, TB, Minnesota". USA Today. May 18, 2005.
  3. ^ Mshsl Boys' Class Aa Championships
  4. ^
  5. ^
  6. ^ 2008 Pro Bowl rosters[permanent dead link]
  7. ^ ESPN – Dallas' Barber to start at running back against Giants – NFL
  8. ^ Barber Suffered Torn Quad in Week 2
  9. ^ Rosenthal, Gregg. "Release Tracker". Pro Football Talk. Retrieved July 29, 2011.
  10. ^ McClure, Vaughn (July 30, 2011). "Bears add former Cowboys RB Barber". Chicago Tribune. Archived from the original on July 22, 2012. Retrieved July 30, 2011.
  11. ^ McClure, Vaughn (March 23, 2012). "Bears running back Marion Barber retires". Chicago Tribune. Retrieved March 12, 2012.

External links