Football Team

Cowboys strength coach Markus Paul dies after medical emergency

Football Team

Cowboys strength and conditioning coach Markus Paul died Wednesday one day after he was rushed to the hospital from the team’s practice facility, the Cowboys announced.

Paul, 54, had worked for the Cowboys since 2018, when he was hired as an assistant strength coach. He suffered a “medical emergency” Tuesday morning and was treated by Dallas medical staff before being transported to the hospital. The Cowboys canceled practice Tuesday but returned Wednesday to prepare for their upcoming Thanksgiving matchup with the Washington Football 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," Cowboys head coach Mike McCarthy said in a 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.

“He handled every situation, sometimes with a smile and a pat on the back, and sometimes with tough love. He had innate toughness in a job that requires 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 coach and laugh with him as a friend. Markus did everything the right way.”

Paul was promoted by McCarthy from assistant strength coach earlier this year. He was part of five Super Bowl-winning teams during a 23-year coaching career that included stints with the New Orleans Saints, New England Patriots, New York Jets, New York Giants and Cowboys.


Prior to working as a strength coach, Paul also played five years as a defensive back in the NFL. He recorded seven interceptions over 71 games for the Chicago Bears and Tampa Bay Buccaneers. In college, he was named an All-American at Syracuse before being drafted in the fourth round of the 1989 NFL Draft.