WACO, Texas — Rodrigo Barnes, former Rice Owl and Dallas Cowboy, has passed away at the age of 73.
As a Waco native, Barnes attended Carver High School when it was once an all-black school.
His football play earned him a scholarship to Rice University, and he became part of the first class of Black athletes to play for the Rice Owls.
Barnes faced challenges at Rice, but he broke barriers by helping create the university's first Black Student Union.
His talent on the football field would not just reach the college level, but also the professional level, as he was drafted in the seventh round by the Dallas Cowboys in 1973, and was a Super Bowl champion with the Raiders in 1977.
Once his time in the NFL came to an end, Barnes would return to school, but as an assistant principal at the Garland Alternative Education Center.