There will be a new face calling NFL Playoff games for CBS after the 2014 season. Longtime NFL analyst Dan Dierdorf is stepping away from the broadcast booth after this season. The Hall of Fame lineman has been a fixture in NFL booths for the better part of four decades with ABC's Monday Night Football and CBS's AFC package. In the last several years, he's worked alongside Greg Gumbel on the #2 CBS broadcast team who announce a divisional playoff game every year.
Here's the announcement from CBS…
"After 43 consecutive years in the National Football League as a Hall of Fame player and Hall of Fame broadcaster, Dan Dierdorf has announced his retirement following this season.
Dierdorf, who is the longest-tenured NFL analyst on television and teams with Greg Gumbel for NFL ON CBS coverage, has spent the past 30 years as an NFL broadcaster, following a 13-year playing career with the St. Louis Cardinals.
“I have been blessed to spend my entire life in the game I love,” said Dierdorf. “I had an opportunity to go from the field directly to the broadcast booth where I have had the privilege of working with the giants of our business including Ray Scott, Lindsey Nelson, Jack Buck, Dick Stockton, Al Michaels, Frank Gifford, Verne Lundquist, Dick Enberg and lastly, my partner, Greg Gumbel. It has become a challenge for me to travel to a different NFL city every week, so it’s time to step aside. This has been a wonderful ride as I really have lived the dream.”
“For 43 NFL seasons Dan Dierdorf has been a consummate professional both on the field and in the broadcast booth,” said Sean McManus, Chairman, CBS Sports. “Very few people in any profession can boast a Hall of Fame playing career and Hall of Fame broadcasting career. Dan, without question, is one of them. His CBS Sports family will miss him on Sundays, but we wish him all the best in his retirement.”
Dierdorf was inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame in 1996 and was the 2008 recipient of the Pro Football Hall of Fame’s Pete Rozelle Radio-Television Award. The Rozelle Award is annually given by the Pro Football Hall of Fame in recognition of “long-time exceptional contributions to radio and television in professional football.” He joins Frank Gifford, John Madden and Len Dawson as the only members of the Pro Football Hall of Fame to also have won the Rozelle Award.
Dierdorf began his NFL broadcasting career in 1984 as a color analyst for KMOX’s Radio coverage of the St. Louis Cardinals and NFL games for CBS Radio Network. He was a play-by-play announcer for THE NFL ON CBS broadcasts in 1985 before switching to color analysis in 1986. In 1987 Dierdorf joined ABC Sports' "Monday Night Football" for 12 years, before returning to CBS Sports in 1999.
Like most announcers who stick around for a long time, Dierdorf has received some criticism in recent years for his analysis declining later in his career. But, looking back over his entire career, there's no doubt his contributions to the sport as a player and a broadcaster are tremendous. He was a fixture on Monday Night Football alongside Al Michaels and Frank Gifford and called 3 Super Bowls for ABC. Since 2000, he's called at least one playoff game for CBS alongside Verne Lundquist, Dick Enberg and Greg Gumbel.
Now the question will turn to who fills Dierdorf's spot at CBS. Top NFL announcing jobs are like Supreme Court appointments in their longevity, job security, and scarcity. CBS may assign a recently retired former player or one of their studio personnel (Boomer Esiason perhaps) to that high-profile spot. Many of their broadcast teams have been together for a long period of time, so it's hard to see CBS breaking up another duo. A popular solution would be Ian Eagle and Dan Fouts getting a deserved promotion to the #2 CBS team as their work in the #3 slot has received plaudits over the last couple years.