May 8, 2014; New York, NY, USA; NFL commissioner Roger Goodell on stage during the first round of the 2014 NFL Draft at Radio City Music Hall. Mandatory Credit: Adam Hunger-USA TODAY Sports

Former Cowboys RB Marion Barber Detained; Latest Victim Of NFL Concussions?


Most players expect to sacrifice their bodies playing football. But few expect to sacrifice their minds.

On Monday, June 16th, Marion Barber III, a former Dallas Cowboys running back, was detained in his suburban Texas home by authorities and was taken for a mental health assessment. Although it is still unclear why the police were called to the residence in the first place, TMZ Sports report eyewitnesses saying the authorities talked with the former bruising back for nearly two hours before placing him in handcuffs and into a squad car. But Barber will not be facing charges. While some may feel like the former player has some explaining to do, maybe the real explanation should come from NFL commissioner, Roger Goodell.

Although it is unknown if there is a direct connection between Barber’s recent detainment and the injuries he suffered while playing in the NFL, it certainly wouldn’t be the first disturbing incident connected to the overall brutal physical impact retained by the former players of the sport.

The NFL has had its share of problems with players specifically suffering from past concussions and other blows to the head. The league was rocked by the untimely death of San Diego Chargers linebacker, Junior Seau in 2012. Seau took his own life and autopsies showed significant brain damage. Recently, 15 former NFL players, headlined by former Miami Dolphins great Dan Marino, filed a lawsuit with the NFL over concussions only to be derailed when Marino revoked his name from the suit.

While Goodell may have dodged another bullet in terms of concussions, future actions from the league are inevitable. For the health of the NFL, and most importantly, the health of current and former players, the league’s commissioner must address brain trauma before it is too late for others. And that latest victim could be Barber.

Barber was a running back known for dishing out punishment to defenders. Barber once had a knack for turning short yardage runs into first downs with brutal stiff-arms that earned him the title Marion the Barbarian. His style of play even brought upon a new rule, nicknamed after himself, which stated that offensive players could no longer stiff-arm to the facemask. When Barber found out that he couldn’t stiff-arm to the helmet, he asked if he could still stiff-arm to the throat. Ouch…

Barber used to be the man who violently imposed his will onto defenses. But these recent events may indicate that he could be facing an even more intimidating foe than himself: brain trauma. And it’s a fight the NFL and Goodell should be fighting right alongside him.

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Tags: Dallas Cowboys Marion Barber NFL Player Concussions Roger Goodell

  • Old Frog

    When I was a kid, kids got hurt playing in backyards but nobody ever sued any parent over it. It was just part of being a kid. This concussion debate is watering down the smash mouth football I grew up loving to watch where risk of injury was just part of the deal. I miss safeties jacking up receivers on crossing patterns as soon as they touched the ball. I miss Franco Harris lowering his head and running over LBs. These guys are paid a ton of money to play this game and they and their parents who encourage them know the risks. Doesn’t matter what I think though. 10-15 years from now the NFL is going to look like Arena Football.

  • Ashley Coonfield

    I loved watching him play, but I think it’s so sad that he’s having these problems now. I hope that he is able to get the help he needs.

    • frederica atkins

      I as well enjoyed seeing him play as well I pray he gets the help hes needs much love for u marion

  • disqus_kLJwdEdnOL

    To suggest Barber’s problem is related to brain injury from football is pure conjecture and without an ounce of evidence he should not have even suggested his personal problems are related to football. We don’t even know if Seau’s suicide was related. I am not saying it’s not possible football caused the problem but we now live in an age when many people don’t seem to want to place responsibility where it belongs.