Barber with the Cowboys in 2007
|Born:||June 10, 1983|
|Height:||5 ft 11 in (1.80 m)|
|Weight:||221 lb (100 kg)|
|High school:||Plymouth (MN) Wayzata|
|NFL Draft:||2005 / Round: 4 / Pick: 109|
|Career highlights and awards|
|Career NFL statistics|
|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, and the son of former New York Jets running back Marion Barber, Jr.. He is also a cousin of Peyton Barber.
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). 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.
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.
|Height||Weight||40-yard dash||10-yard split||20-yard split||20-yard shuttle||Three-cone drill||Vertical jump||Broad jump||Bench press|
|5 ft in
|10 ft 7 in
|All values from Central Florida Pro Day.|
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). 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.
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.
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.
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.
Barber was released by Dallas on July 28, 2011. On July 30, 2011, the Bears signed Barber to a two-year, $5 million contract. 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 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.