The Cowboys are on the verge of making the final decision to relocate their 2011 training camp from San Antonio to Cowboys Stadium in Arlington because of the ongoing NFL lockout. But one change that apparently won't be made this season is the voice of Cowboys Stadium.
That said, even the return of Jody Dean as the stadium's public address announcer might come with a couple of tweaks.
"I'll be back for this season,'' Dean confirmed yesterday. "But I might have some company."
The Cowboys, who for years went with the understated, successful deliveries of Murphy Martin and George Dunham at Texas Stadium, are now pondering a second, and perhaps even a third voice in their monstrous home. The organization is currently conducting tryouts, including for a position in the P.A. booth that would supplement Dean's play-by-play with advertising and promotional content.
"I'd be fine with that," Dean said. "Sounds like a unique idea and the Cowboys are always ahead of the curve."
In another innovative, unprecedented move, the Cowboys are also pondering a roving, on-field, in-stands, game-day emcee along the lines of what Chris Arnold does for the Mavericks inside American Airlines Center.
Changes or not, 2011 is likely to be Dean's last as the voice of Cowboys Stadium. Why?
He has a 6-year-old daughter. And heart problems.
"It's the most stressful job I've ever had in my life," said Dean, 51. "You're terrified at making a mistake, and it's Jerry Jones' house. That's a pretty big darn stage."
Dean had contemplated retiring this off-season but recently committed to at least 2011.
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"Missing Thanksgiving with my daughter isn't easy," said Dean.
He also underwent heart surgery earlier this year.
"It's a little problematic, but they did some tinkering with the plumbing and for now all is well," Dean said. "If I was 35 my ego would make all these decisions for me. But when you roll into your 50s you sees things a little differently. I'm excited about this season. After that, we'll see."
Bottom line: The lockout's resolution might come equipped with a new training camp locale and at least one new voice at Cowboys Stadium.