Markus Paul, the strength and conditioning coordinator for the Dallas Cowboys, died on Wednesday, the team announced. He was 54 years old. Paul was hospitalized on Tuesday morning after receiving emergency treatment by the Cowboys' medical team.
"The loss of a family member is a tragedy, and Markus Paul was a loved and valued member of our family,'' Cowboys owner Jerry Jones said in a statement. "He was a pleasant and calming influence in our strength room and throughout The Star. His passion for his work and his enthusiasm for life earned him great respect and admiration from all of our players and the entire organization. We offer our love and support to his family in this very difficult time."
Cowboys coach Mike McCarthy released a statement on Paul. "We extend our love, strength and support to Markus' family during this most challenging of times and ask that their privacy be respected moving forward," McCarthy stated. "Markus Paul was a leader in this building. He earned the players' respect and attention because he cared so much and was a naturally gifted communicator – both on the personal and professional levels. He handled every situation, sometimes with a smile and a pat on the back, and sometimes with tough love. He had innate toughness in a job that requires that quality, and he was admired throughout the NFL by his peers and the players he coached."
Paul was in his first season as the Cowboys strength and conditioning coordinator after being promoted by McCarthy earlier this year. He originally joined the Cowboys in 2018 and spent two seasons as an assistant strength and conditioning coach. Before joining the Cowboys, Paul spent 11 seasons (2007-17) as an assistant strength and conditioning coach for the New York Giants and helped the team win two Super Bowls.
Before joining the Giants, Paul spent two seasons with the New York Jets, where he held the same position. He also spent time with the New England Patriots (2000-2004), where he won three championships. His first job as an assistant coach came in 1998 when he was on the New Orleans Saints' staff. He also played in the NFL, as the Chicago Bears drafted him in the fourth round in 1989. He played in 71 career games with the Bears and Tampa Bay Buccaneers in five seasons.