Dallas Cowboys' Strength and Conditioning Coach Markus Paul Dies After Being Rushed to the Hospital

Gabrielle Chung
·3 min read

NFL/Getty Images Markus Paul

Markus Paul, a strength and conditioning coach for the Dallas Cowboys, has died. He was 54.

Paul died on Wednesday, a day after he was rushed to the hospital following a medical emergency at the NFL team's headquarters in Frisco, Texas, according to the Cowboys.

A cause of death has not yet been made public.

"The loss of a family member is a tragedy, and Markus Paul was a loved and valued member of our family," Cowboys owner and general manager 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 our players and the entire organization."

"We offer our love and support to his family in this very difficult time," Jones added. "Our hearts are broken for his family and all of the individuals whose lives he touched and made better."

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Paul suffered a medical emergency on early Tuesday morning and was treated by the Cowboys' medical personnel before he was transported to a local hospital, where he underwent further testing, the team said on its website.

Prior to working on the sidelines, Paul played in the NFL as a defensive back with the Chicago Bears and Tampa Bay Buccaneers from 1989 to 1993.

In 1998, he joined Mike Woicik as a strength and conditioning coordinator for the New Orleans Saints.

Paul then followed Woicik to the New England Patriots, serving as the team's assistant strength coach from 2000 to 2004 and helping win three Super Bowl championships.

He then worked with the New York Jets for two years before joining the New York Giants as an assistant strength and conditioning coach, a position Paul held for 11 seasons from 2007 to 2017.

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Paul joined the Cowboys in 2018 and was in his first season with the team when he was promoted to a strength and conditioning coach by Mike McCarthy earlier this year.

"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 said in a statement on Wednesday. "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."