Todd Archer reports on the death of Cowboys strength and conditioning coordinator Markus Paul and how the team prepares to play while coping with the loss. (0:32)
FRISCO, Texas – Dallas Cowboys strength and conditioning coordinator Markus Paul, who was hospitalized Tuesday morning following a medical emergency, has died, the team said Wednesday. He was 54 years old.
« The loss of a family member is a tragedy, and Markus Paul was a loved and valued member of our family, » cowboy owner and general manager Jerry Jones said in a statement. « He’s been a pleasant and comforting influence in our weight room and on 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 during this very difficult time. Our hearts are broken for his family and all of the people whose lives he has touched and improved. «
The Cowboys recognized and remembered Paul before their Thanksgiving matchup against Washington at the AT&T Stadium. They wore an « MP » sticker in Paul’s memory and had a moment of silence before the game. Some coaches wear the decals on their hats or shirts.
Paul was treated by medical staff from the Cowboys and was rushed to hospital by ambulance just before 7:30 a.m.. m. CT Tuesday. Coach Mike McCarthy canceled Tuesday’s practice session and Wednesday’s session lasted approximately 75 minutes, which was considered close to normal under the circumstances.
Paul joined the Cowboys in 2018 as Mike Woicik’s assistant and was appointed Strength and Endurance Coordinator as a trainer when McCarthy arrived.
« We are expanding our love, strength and support for Markus’ family during this challenging time, and we ask that their privacy be respected in the future, » McCarthy said in a statement. « Markus Paul was a leader in this building. He earned the players’ respect and attention for caring so much and being a naturally gifted communicator – both on a personal and professional level. He handled every situation, sometimes with a smile and a pat on the back, and sometimes with hard love.
« He had an innate toughness in a job that required 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 trainer and to laugh with him as a friend. Markus did everything right. «
Several Cowboys players took to Twitter to pay tribute to Paul, including linebacker Jaylon Smith and cornerback Jourdan Lewis.
Thank you Markus for being you. I learned a lot from watching you. Servant Leader 🙏🏾Miss the laughter and the jokes. Rest in Heaven – Peace, love and prayers to all concerned. Twitter. com / 7hqtgMrNop
My feelings are so hurt. . . My condolences to the Paul family. Coach Markus was a great man and loved making us better. You will miss Coach!
Paul played five years in the NFL as a fullback with the Chicago Bears and Tampa Bay Buccaneers from 1989 to 1993, after four seasons in Syracuse, where he was twice All-American.
Washington coaches Ron Rivera and Paul were teammates with the Bears from 1989 to 1992 before Rivera’s career ended.
« The death of Markus Paul is a real loss to the NFL community and everyone who has had the privilege to know him, » said Rivera. « Markus was a great teammate during my time at the Chicago Bears and a great friend to me over the years. He was just a great man and will be missed by many. »
Paul joined the New Orleans Saints’ ranks in 1998 and spent five seasons with the New England Patriots under Woicik from 2000 to 2004. In 2005 and 2006, Paul was 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.
The Jets expressed their condolences on their Twitter account on Wednesday, describing Paul as « a kind man who made a lasting impression on those fortunate enough to have crossed his path. « . «
The Giants also tweeted about Paul, calling him « a beloved member of our organization for several years » and saying, « He will be greatly missed. «
The Saints said in their statement: « While Markus’ time in New Orleans was relatively brief nearly two decades ago, he was the first family member to leave a lasting legacy that cared deeply about the players and the rich history of the NFL. «
In 2012, the day before the game against the Cincinnati Bengals, the Cowboys saw the loss of a player when linebacker Jerry Brown was killed in a car accident in which teammate Josh Brent was the driver. The cowboys had put Brown’s jersey on their bench and won the game.
Dallas Cowboys, Markus Paul, New York Giants, strength and conditioning coach, head coach, New England Patriots, NFL
World news – USA – Cowboys strength trainer Markus Paul, 54, dies
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