FRISCO, TX - Former Syracuse All-American defensive back Markus Paul died at age 54, Wednesday, a day after being taken to the hospital with a medical emergency.
Paul, who was serving as the Dallas Cowboys strength and conditioning coach, suffered the emergency while at the Cowboys' training facility and was rushed to Plano Presbyterian Hospital, where according to his daughter on social media Tuesday night, he was placed on life support while undergoing further medical tests.
The cause of death has not yet been announced.
"Markus was an outstanding player who had a tremendous impact on this program," said Syracuse head coach Dino Babers. "I extend my deepest condolences to his family and friends following his tragic passing."
Paul played for the Orange from 1984-88, where he was a key member of the unbeaten 'Cuse team in 1987. He was a two-time finalist for the Jim Thorpe Award, presented to the nation's most outstanding defensive back in college football, and he was an All-American selection in 1988.
He was also a captain for the team and still holds the Orange all-time interceptions record with 19 throughout his career.
"Markus was a wonderful person who made an impact on those around him at every stop," said Syracuse University Director of Athletics John Wildhack. "He was an integral member of our undefeated 1987 Orange team and a two-time All-American. He was well respected in the NFL as a coach and mentor whose distinguished career included Super Bowl championships working with Tom Coughlin and the New York Giants and Bill Belichick in New England. Markus will forever be part of our Orange family. All of us at Syracuse University and Syracuse Athletics hold Markus' family in our thoughts and extend our love always."
Following his time at Syracuse, he played five seasons in the NFL from 1989-93 with the Chicago Bears and Tampa Bay Buccaneers.
After his retirement from playing, he spent the 22 years as a strength coach in the NFL beginning in 1998 with the New Orleans Saints. After, two seasons in New Orleans, he went on to join New England (2000-04) where he won three Super Bowl championship.
After his time with the Patriots, he spent two years with their AFC East rival New York Jets (2005-06).
He then spent the next 11 seasons (2007-17) with the Giants where he won two more Super Bowls over his previous team.
Paul joined the Cowboys in 2018 as an assistant strength and conditioning coach, and was promoted to the strength and conditioning coordinator prior to the 2020 season by new head coach Mike McCarthy.