sportsCowboys

Cowboys strength and conditioning coach Markus Paul dies at 54

Jerry Jones: “Our hearts are broken for his family and all of the individuals whose lives he touched and made better.”

Cowboys strength and conditioning coach Markus Paul died Wednesday evening, the team announced. Paul was 54.

Paul collapsed at The Star on Tuesday morning and was rushed to Plano Presbyterian Hospital, where he was placed on life support. Paul’s family rushed to his side over the last 36 hours.

“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 prepared statement. “He was a pleasant and calming influence in our strength room and throughout The Star.”

After Paul collapsed, the Cowboys canceled Tuesday’s practice. The team resumed activities Wednesday.

Paul normally conducts stretching exercises with the team before practices, but assistant strength and conditioning coaches Harold Nash Jr. and Kendall Smith led the team.

“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,” coach Mike McCarthy said in a prepared statement. “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.”

Paul joined the Cowboys in 2018 after spending the previous 11 years as the assistant strength and conditioning coach for the New York Giants.

Paul worked with four NFL teams in strength and conditioning. Before that he played five NFL seasons with Chicago and Tampa Bay as a safety. In 1989, the Bears selected Paul in the fourth round of the NFL draft out of Syracuse.

Paul played at Syracuse from 1984-1988 and still owns the school career record with 19 interceptions. He was named first team All-America as a senior and later landed a spot on the Syracuse All-Century team.

Before taking questions from the media Wednesday and before Paul’s death, Giants coach Joe Judge remarked how respected Paul was in the NFL.

“This is a guy that’s very well-respected through the league, very well-respected in this building,” Judge said. “There are a lot of people with very close personal ties. Just the reputation through the league, you don’t want to see this happen to anybody.”

+++

Find more Cowboys coverage from The Dallas Morning News here.

In This Story

Calvin Watkins. This is my 10th year covering the Dallas Cowboys. This is special for me because I've never reached the 10th year in anything, other than living. So I guess that's something to be proud of.

calvin.watkins@dallasnews.com @calvinwatkins
Cowboys Catch-Up

Be the smartest Dallas Cowboys fan

Get the latest news, analysis and opinion delivered straight to your inbox.

By signing up you agree to our privacy policy