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Former Dallas Cowboys LB Rodrigo Barnes, whom the franchise selected with in the seventh round of the 1973 Draft, has died at the age of 73.
He was only the second African American linebacker in team history, though he would be released after just one season. He would later go on to win a Super Bowl XI ring in 1976 under coach John Madden. He was also well known for his civil rights activism.
From The Dallas Morning News:
"Barnes was one of first four Black athletes to integrate the Rice athletic program in the fall of 1968. In addition to his accomplishments on the football field – the linebacker became the first Black player to be named to the All-Southwest Conference defensive team – he helped form the Black Student Union and led a movement for the school to hire more minority teachers and coaches.
'“Yes, I was an activist,” Barnes told The Dallas Morning News nearly six years ago. “But I wasn’t trying to change the Cowboys, just how you treat people.”'
Our condolences to his family during this difficult time.