Dallas Cowboys strength and conditioning coordinator Markus Paul, who was rushed to the hospital Tuesday morning after experiencing a medical emergency, has died, the team announced Wednesday. He was 54.
“The loss of a family member is a tragedy, and Markus Paul was a loved and valued member of our family,” the Cowboys 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. Our hearts are broken for his family and all of the individuals whose lives he touched and made better.”
Paul was treated by Cowboys medical personnel and transported to a local hospital by ambulance shortly before 7:30 a.m. CT on Tuesday. Coach Mike McCarthy told the players and staff about Paul’s situation at an already-planned team meeting at 8:05 a.m. CT and that practice would be canceled.
Paul joined the Cowboys in 2018 as an assistant to Mike Woicik and was named the strength and conditioning coordinator upon McCarthy’s arrival as coach. Paul played five years as a defensive back in the NFL with the Chicago Bears and Tampa Bay Buccaneers from 1989 to 1993 after four seasons at Syracuse, where he was a two-time All-American.
He entered the coaching ranks in 1998 with the New Orleans Saints and then spent five seasons with the New England Patriots‘ strength staff under Woicik from 2000 to 2004. In 2005 and ’06, Paul was the director of physical development and head strength and conditioning coach for the New York Jets.
He spent 11 seasons with the New York Giants as an assistant strength coach before joining the Cowboys.
ESPN’s Todd Archer contributed to this report.