Terrell Owens gives speech at Marion Barber’s funeral

Terrell Owens is “hurting” after attending the funeral services for Marion Barber in Minneapolis, where he gave an emotional speech about his late Cowboys teammate.

Owens took the podium at Hunting Bank Stadium this week to reminisce about Barber, who was found dead in his Texas apartment earlier this month at the age of 38. Owens reflected on the memories he shared with his former teammate, notably his piano-playing, in front of a crowd that featured coaches and teammates, including Laurence Maroney, Barber’s teammate at the University of Minnesota.

In his speech, Owens admitted that Barber’s death “shook me to the core,” and added, “I knew he was a special individual… I had no idea how this guy was that gifted.”

Owens recalled living on the same floor as Barber when they were Cowboys teammates for three seasons and that he would tell Barber, “If I knew how to play that piano, I’d be walking around this floor with my shirt off, singing all the time.”

The crowd had a laugh after Owens added, “I did that anyway.”

In addition to Owens, Jesse Holley, a wide receiver who was also Barber’s teammate in Dallas, spoke at the service.

“I’ve been laughing because I’ve been watching all these posters fall down (in the wind) and we all know that’s Marion saying, ‘I don’t want this attention,’” said Holley. “No matter how big of a star he was, Marion always treated you like you were the bigger star.”

Owens reflected on Barber’s service in an Instagram post on Wednesday that featured images of loved ones placing flowers on the casket, as well as a black-and-white flyer with Barber’s photo.

“We laid our brother down to rest in heaven and celebrated his life today. Still so unreal,” Owens wrote. “We shared stories, laughs and praised him for the person and most important, the man of God he was. Thank you to the Barber Family for allowing us to share this emotional day and his homegoing with you. Mama and Daddy Barber and family, we’re praying for your continued strength and comfort during these difficult days ahead. We’re gonna miss you MB! Another one gone too soon. I’m hurting.”

At the time of his death, Barber’s father, Marion Barber II, told the Fort Worth Star-Telegram that a coroner in Frisco, Texas, was still determining his son’s cause of death and that no foul play was suspected.

Terrell Owens and Marion Barber during a Cowboys game in December 2007.
Sporting News via Getty Images

Barber was reportedly discovered by police in his apartment in Frisco underneath a running shower, and it is believed he was there for a number of days based on the decomposition level of his body. Police reported to the apartment to perform a welfare check.

“They are just using tissue as they dig further into the cause of death,” Barber II said. “They are ruling out things. They haven’t seen any trauma, no foul substances in his body. His lungs were in working order. The heart and veins around the heart were good. They are ruling things out. Right now, we are just waiting.” 

Barber was just over a week from his 39th birthday when he died.