Syracuse, N.Y. — Markus Paul, a former All-American safety at Syracuse who is the head of strength and conditioning for the Dallas Cowboys, was taken to a local hospital Tuesday morning after collapsing inside the team’s facility, his sister said.
Paul suffered a heart attack and is undergoing tests in the hospital, said his sister Angie Taylor. She spoke by phone with Paul’s wife, who is with Paul at the hospital, around 1 p.m.
Nurses used the term “brain-dead” when describing Paul’s condition.
“We’re asking for people’s prayers,” Taylor told the Post-Standard. “We’re believers, and we’re believing in God for a miracle.”
The Cowboys canceled Tuesday’s practice over what the team initially called a non-coronavirus medical emergency involving a staff member. A Frisco County fire department spokesman confirmed one patient was transported to the hospital after responding to a call at the Cowboys’ facility around 7:30 Tuesday morning.
In a statement released Tuesday afternoon, the Cowboys said Paul is undergoing additional tests.
Paul, 54, recorded a school-record 19 interceptions and was a member of SU’s unbeaten team in 1987. A two-time finalist for the Jim Thorpe Award, presented to the nation’s top defensive back, Paul was also named to the Syracuse All-Century team in 1999.
Paul, a fourth-round draft pick of the Chicago Bears in 1989, played in five seasons for the Bears before finishing his playing career with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.
He has been the head of the Cowboys’ strength staff since 2018. Paul won five Super Bowls prior to his time in Dallas, three with the New England Patriots and two with the New York Giants.
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