Markus Paul, strength and conditioning coordinator for the Dallas Cowboys, has died.
The 54-year-old experienced a non-Covid-19 related medical emergency Tuesday morning at the team’s headquarters. He was immediately treated by the Cowboys’ medical staff and was transported to a nearby hospital by ambulance for further treatment. It was there, while surrounded by family, that he passed away Wednesday evening, according to the team.
The cause of death is still pending.
Paul was in his 21st season as a strength and conditioning coach, according to the Cowboys website. Before he joined Dallas in 2018, he spent 11 years in the role with the New York Giants. In his time as a coach, he helped teams win five Super Bowls. Prior to coaching, he previously played football at Syracuse University, where he was a team captain and two-time All-American defensive back.
Cowboys head coach Mike McCarthy called Paul a leader within the organization.
“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,” McCarthy said in a statement. “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.”
Jerry Jones, owner of the Cowboys, also issued a statement, calling Paul 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,” Jones said.
The Cowboys, who are expected to play on Thanksgiving, plan to recognize Paul prior to the game.