FRISCO, Texas — Tragedy has hit the Dallas Cowboys in a major way with the passing of Markus Paul, the team's strength and conditioning coach.
Paul was hospitalized since Tuesday, when he received emergency treatment by the Cowboys' medical team at the team headquarters in Frisco before being transported to a local hospital by ambulance. After a lengthy series of further medical tests, Paul died on Wednesday, at the age of 54.
The team returned to the field for a practice Wednesday but there were no media conference calls with coaches or players. The Cowboys canceled practice and all other team and media activities for Tuesday. The team is on a short week as it prepares for the upcoming game with Washington on Thursday.
Paul was in his first season as the team's strength and conditioning coordinator, when he was promoted by new head coach Mike McCarthy earlier in 2020. Paul actually joined the Cowboys in 2018 and spent two seasons as an assistant strength coach.
Paul previously worked under former Cowboys strength and conditioning coordinator Mike Woicik three times: first in New Orleans (1998-99), then in New England (2000-04), where he won three championships, and most recently the last two seasons (2018-19) in Dallas.
In his previous stops, Paul played a key role in five Super Bowl championship teams with the New York Giants and New England. He was the Giants' assistant strength and conditioning coach for 11 seasons (2007-17).
Prior to joining the Giants, Paul was with the Jets for two years in a similar capacity.
Paul also had a five-year playing career in the NFL (1989-93) with the Bears and Buccaneers. Drafted by the Bears in the fourth round (95th overall) in 1989, he made 15 starts in 71 career games. He was a team captain, along with Daryl Johnston, at Syracuse, where he was an All-American defensive back.