Deep Thoughts

A little Valley Ranch birdie chirped to me this morning that, in addition to former All-Pro safety Charlie Waters, the Dallas Cowboys will interview former deep snapper and SMU alum Dale Hellestrae to be their new radio analyst. With Babe Laufenberg's voluntary departure, the Cowboys need an entertaining voice who's preferably also been in a huddle a time or two.

Though built like a bean bag, Hellestrae fits that mold: The former Mustang played 17 NFL seasons, all but one in Dallas. Living in Scottsdale, Ariz., he currently provides TV and radio color commentary for the Arena Football League's Arizona Rattlers. He's filled in on some Cowboys broadcasts, done games for NFL Europe and worked last winter's Insight Bowl. More important, he once hosted his own hilarious radio show on KLIF-AM (570) called Inside Helly's Head. Favorite episode: live coverage of him snapping a ball through a moving car's window. But perhaps most important of all, he's very close friends with potential new partner Brad Sham and former quarterback Troy Aikman. Even with Hellestrae's emergence, I hear the job is Charlie's if he wants it, though also on the short list is former Pro Bowl safety Darren Woodson. --Richie Whitt

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