Markus Paul, Dallas Cowboys strength and conditioning coach since 2018, died Wednesday at the age of 54. Team owner Jerry Jones and head coach Mike McCarthy confirmed Paul's death in statements on Wednesday night.
An emergency call was made from the Dallas Cowboy's Frisco, TX facilities for an occurring medical emergency on Tuesday morning. Later, Paul was rushed to Plano Presbyterian Hospital in the greater Dallas area, where he died surrounded by his family. The cause of death is pending and has not been disclosed.
“The loss of a family member is a tragedy, and Markus Paul was a loved and valued member of our family,'' Jones said. "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. 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.” Jerry Jones (via CowboysMaven)
Paul's career spanned 23 seasons as an NFL strength and conditioning coach. He began his career as the New Orleans Saints assistant strength and conditioning coach in 1998-1999 under head coach Mike Ditka and strength and conditioning coach Mike Woicik. Both met Paul in Chicago as coaches with the Bears.
In 1989, the Chicago Bears and Ditka drafted the University of Syracuse All-American player in the fourth-round (95th overall) of the 1989 NFL Draft as a safety. He was a ballhawk in college and set a Syracuse record with 19 interceptions. As a defensive back, Paul played 70 games with the Bears and started 15 games with seven interceptions from 1989 to 1993. He went on to play one game for the Tampa Bay Buccaneers in 1993.
Paul was raised in Florida and attended Osceola High School in Kissimmee, Florida. He was an outstanding quarterback and defensive back.