Cowboys Release Statement on Coach Hospitalized After Medical Incident

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The Dallas Cowboys have identified head strength and conditioning coach Markus Paul as the staff member who suffered a sudden medical emergency Tuesday.

In a statement released via the team, the Cowboys disputed reports that Paul, 54, has passed away, confirming instead that he’s hospitalized and undergoing further tests.

“Shortly before 7:30 a.m. this morning, Dallas Cowboys strength and conditioning coordinator Markus Paul experienced a medical emergency. Paul was immediately treated by Cowboys medical personnel and transported to a local hospital by ambulance. As per the Paul family, Markus is in the process of undergoing further medical tests and additional information will be made available at the appropriate time. The Dallas Cowboys players and staff attended a pre-scheduled 8:05 a.m. team meeting this morning and were told by head coach Mike McCarthy that today’s practice, scheduled for 11:30 a.m., would be cancelled. The organization extends its prayers and support to the Paul family, and asks for friends and followers of Markus, his family and the team to keep them in their thoughts and prayers.”

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As stated, Dallas opted to cancel Tuesday’s practice and accompanying media availability after Paul’s emergency, which is unrelated to the COVID-19 pandemic, the team announced.

The Cowboys, following a Monday walkthrough, were scheduled to hold a full-fledged Tuesday practice as they ready for their Thanksgiving home game against Washington.

Heavy will update this story as more information becomes available.


Background on Paul

A former NFL player for the Chicago Bears (1989-1993) and Tampa Bay Buccaneers (1993), Paul began his professional coaching career as a strength and conditioning assistant with the New Orleans Saints in 1998.

He bounced from the New England Patriots (2000-04), New York Jets (2005-06), and New York Giants (2007-2018) before landing the job with Dallas in 2018. He was promoted to the head position this year, replacing Mike Woicik.

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National Reaction

A respected and tenured coach, Paul drew wide-reaching support on social media upon rumors of his death.

“Thoughts and prayers going out to the Paul family. Markus was a great coach and one of the best guys that I have ever known. He will be missed,” former Giants quarterback Eli Manning tweeted.

“Markus Paul worked for the Giants from 2007 through 2018. Liked and respected by all in the organization. RIP,” Giants beat reporter Paul Schwartz tweeted.

“My heart is heavy. One of the finest men and coaches I have ever met. The world lost a GREAT MAN today. We love you! RIP Markus Paul,” former Giants kicker Lawrence Tynes tweeted.

“[Paul’s] accomplishments are many and his popularity around the league now obvious,” ESPN’s Ed Werder tweeted.

“Markus Paul is an amazing, well-respected coach and person. Prayers up for him,” NFL Network insider Mike Garafolo tweeted.


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Follow Zack Kelberman on Twitter: @KelbermanNFL