Report: Marion Barber died from heat stroke

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The Collin County medical examiner’s office ruled Marion Barber III died from a heat stroke, Jori Epstein of USA Today reports.

Frisco, Texas, police found the former Cowboys running back dead inside his apartment June 1 while conducting a welfare check. Barber was 38.

One of the bathtub faucets in Barber’s apartment was running when officers arrived, according to the autopsy report obtained by Epstein, and the unit’s thermostat was set to 91 degrees with the heat set to “on.” Officers also found exercise equipment in the unit.

“Mr. Barber was known to exercise in sauna-like conditions,” the coroner wrote in his report.

The Cowboys made Barber a fourth-round choice in 2005, and he played six of his seven seasons in Dallas. His final season came in Chicago in 2011.

Barber made the Pro Bowl in 2007 when he rushed for a career-best 975 yards and scored 10 rushing touchdowns. He did not start a game that season while splitting time with starter Julius Jones.

He finished his career with 4,780 rushing yards and 53 rushing touchdowns.

16 responses to “Report: Marion Barber died from heat stroke

  1. RIP Barbarian. Thanks for allowing a generation of fans to see what a RB looked like in the 50s.

  2. A sad situation all around.

    How does one die from heat stroke inside an apartment though? Unless he had just came in or something just seems weird though.

    Can honestly say though, I do not miss those summers in Dallas. All of the concrete just absorbed the heat so it was like walking on Mars a few months a year.

  3. Maybe he just went for a run or workout on a hot day? Heat stroke can just sneak up on you for sure.

  4. What a tragedy. I used to love his hard nosed grind style of running. I wish his family and friend condolences during a very difficult time.

  5. I had a heat stroke in boot camp in San Diego. 107 degree internal temperature. I don’t know if I was unconscious or just don’t remember. Drill instructors sprayed me down with water hoses and when I kinda came to I could barely breath with the weight of all the ice they put on me in sick bay. My brain wasn’t working right. When I was in the ambulance I thought I had died and gone to Hell. Was in the hospital for six days. One of the doctors said I should be dead. If Barber had gotten too hot outside and didn’t get any help from anyone to cool down he was doomed. Sucks.

  6. Article says he had his thermostat set to 91 degrees and a water tap on and that he liked to work out in sauna like conditions.

    Having your thermostat set that high during the summer must have made it insanely hot in his home, thus the heatstroke.

  7. Very sad. And I mean that. The explanation leaves me asking questions though.

  8. One of the hardest running tailbacks I have ever seen. It was a pleasure to watch Barber plow over defenders. Rest in Peace.

  9. Seems pretty obvious he was working out in his apartment which must of felt like 100 degrees on purpose to sweat more, and get a better workout in. That the faucet was running I bet he felt over heated while working out and went to splash his face with cold water.

  10. Dallas could have used a running back like he was the last few years. RIP, and he was fun to watch play football. Prayers go out the family, sorry for your loss.

  11. footstepsfalco says:
    July 11, 2022 at 8:14 pm
    Very sad. And I mean that. The explanation leaves me asking questions though.


    Very suspicious.

  12. You can always tell the office dwellers who think heat stroke isn’t a serious issue when you’re doing something in the heat.

    Sounds like Barber was creating a sauna for his workout and he over did it. He’d probably done hundreds of time without issue, but all it takes is going a little too hard and then you start not thinking clearly.

  13. Heat stroke is from a combination of your internal body temp, the external air temp and the humidity.
    There is something called “wet bulb” temp. It combines the humidity and the temp of the air.

    You can not cool your body if the “wet bulb” temp is such that sweat does not evaporate.

    So, exercising in a pretty warm, enclosed space (ie 91 degrees in an apartment) with a high humidity (ie water running in bathroom, especially if a shower is on) would rapidly increase the combined effect of temp, humidity and heating effect of exercising.

    That is why heat stroke is way more common when exercising in hot summer months in areas with high humidity and no breezes (breezes help sweat evaporate) Think inland Mississippi, Louisiana, Georgia, S Carolina, middle parts of Fla. etc.

    The coroner’s report provided info to support their diagnosis of heat stroke.

    Not suspicious.

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