Dallas Cowboys strength coach Markus Paul died Wednesday, a day after being taken to hospital after suffering a medical emergency at the team’s premises. He was 54 years old. The team said the cause of death was pending.
Paul was in his third season with the Cowboys after coaching strength and conditioning with the New Orleans Saints, New England Patriots, New York Jets and 12 seasons with the New York Giants. Paul has been in five Super Bowl championships, three with the Patriots and two with the Giants.
My feelings are so hurt … My condolences to the Paul family. Coach Markus was a great man and loved improving us, you will miss the coach!
– Jourdan Lewis (@JourdanJD) November 26, 2020
The former NFL security played for the Chicago Bears (1989-93) and the Tampa Bay Buccaneers (1993). He has played 71 games with 17 starts over those five seasons. He was a fourth-round draft pick at Syracuse, where he was an AP All-American as a senior in 1998.
“The loss of a family member is a tragedy, and Markus Paul was a loved and valued member of our family,” said Dallas owner Jerry Jones. “He had a pleasant and calming influence in our weight room.”
The Cowboys canceled training on Tuesday after Paul was taken to hospital. The team trained on Wednesday, a day before their Thanksgiving game against Washington.
Cowboys coach Mike McCarthy called it a privilege to work with Paul as a coach and laugh with him as a friend.
“Markus Paul was a leader in this building. He won the respect and attention of the players because he cared a lot and was a naturally gifted communicator both personally and professionally, ”said McCarthy. “He handled every situation, sometimes with a smile and a pat on the back, and sometimes with tough love. He had an innate tenacity in a job that demanded this quality, and he was admired throughout the NFL by his peers and the players he coached.
Washington head coach Ron Rivera and Paul were teammates with the Bears from 1989 to 1992, before Rivera’s career ended.
“The passing of Markus Paul is a real loss to the NFL community and anyone who has had the privilege of knowing him,” Rivera said. “Markus was a great teammate during my time with the Chicago Bears and a good friend to me over the years. He was just a great man and will be sadly missed.