Dallas Cowboys strength and conditioning coach Markus Paul died Wednesday night at a Dallas-area hospital surrounded by his family, one day after he suffered a medical emergency and collapsed at the team’s practice facility.
He was 54. The cause of death is not yet known.
In a statement, Cowboys owner Jerry Jones said:
“The loss of a family member is a tragedy, and Markus Paul was a loved and valued member of our family. 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. Our hearts are broken for his family and all of the individuals whose lives he touched and made better.”
Markus Paul rushed to hospital after emergency
Paul collapsed during a medical emergency on Tuesday morning at the Cowboys’ practice facility in Frisco. He was attended to by team medical personnel and paramedics on site before being taken to a local hospital in serious condition by ambulance.
Details about the medical emergency are unclear. Several players were on hand when it occurred, and practice and media availability for the day was abruptly canceled.
Paul has been with the Cowboys for the past three seasons, and has been a strength and conditioning coach across the league for 22 years. The former Syracuse standout has helped lead teams to five Super Bowl wins in his career, too, including three with the New England Patriots and two with the New York Giants.
Our prayers of comfort and peace are with his family, the Dallas Cowboys and his many friends across the NFL and beyond. He will be greatly missed.
— New York Giants (@Giants) November 26, 2020
Our thoughts and prayers are with the loved ones of Markus Paul, who spent two years with us in 2005-06. He was a kind man who made a lasting impact on those fortunate to have crossed his path.
— New York Jets (@nyjets) November 26, 2020
Statement from the New Orleans Saints: pic.twitter.com/g0pnK8VH7Q
— New Orleans Saints (@Saints) November 26, 2020
Former Bears safety Markus Paul, a longtime NFL strength and conditioning coach, passed away Wednesday at the age of 54. Our thoughts and prayers go out to his family, friends and to the countless lives he touched.
— Chicago Bears (@ChicagoBears) November 26, 2020
In a statement, Cowboys head coach Mike McCarthy said:
“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. It was a privilege to work with him as a coach and laugh with him as a friend. Markus did everything the right way.”
The Cowboys are set to host the Washington Football Team on Thursday afternoon, and plan to honor Paul before the annual Thanksgiving Day game.
More from Yahoo Sports: