Cowboys' Mike McCarthy Says Late Coach Markus Paul Was a 'Special Man'

Scott Polacek@@ScottPolacekFeatured ColumnistNovember 27, 2020

An image of Dallas Cowboys strength and conditioning coordinator Markus Paul is projected on the video screen as all in attendance observe a moment of silence before an NFL football game against the Washington Football Team in Arlington, Texas, Thursday, Nov. 26, 2020. Paul died on Wednesday. (AP Photo/Ron Jenkins)
Ron Jenkins/Associated Press

Dallas Cowboys head coach Mike McCarthy opened up about strength and conditioning coach Markus Paul—who died this week at the age of 54—following Thursday's loss to the Washington Football Team

Todd Archer of ESPN shared McCarthy's statement:

"Markus was a special man. He was definitely someone, when I think of him, obviously had a lot of success in his professional life; but if you really look at the mark of a man, it's more about significance than success. I can't tell you the impact he's made on our football team, really the whole organization. I obviously only worked with Markus since January, but it was clearly evident through these last 48 hours, 72 hours, what he means to everybody.

"The team meeting [Wednesday] night was powerful, and obviously we're going to miss him. It's unfortunate for his family, but we had the opportunity to celebrate him last night as a team, and we'll definitely continue to do that. His memory and impact has touched a lot of people and will always live with us."

Linebacker Jaylon Smith echoed those sentiments about the team meeting.

"Just to get the opportunity to celebrate his life, his impact, everything he instilled in each individual that he touched," Smith said. "Five-time Super Bowl champ, successful player, coach and strength coach. Just a great mentor and a servant leader. I learned a lot from him in his time here, and a lot of people got to share their stories on how he touched the individual."

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Running back Ezekiel Elliott told Jon Machota of The Athletic it was difficult going through practice without Paul present and added, "It's definitely an emotional week for everyone. We just got to lean on each other and help each other get through this tough time."

Archer noted Paul was rushed to the hospital Tuesday morning after experiencing a medical emergency and died surrounded by family on Wednesday.

The team honored him with a moment of remembrance before Thursday's game and wore stickers with the initials "MP" on their helmets:

Before his career in coaching, Paul played football collegiately for Syracuse and in the NFL for the Chicago Bears and Tampa Bay Buccaneers. He coached for the New Orleans Saints, New England Patriots, New York Jets, New York Giants and Cowboys and won five Super Bowls with the Patriots and Giants.

Washington defeated the Cowboys 41-16 on Thursday.