I don't know for sure, the water pump bolts on the cover also. It doesn't leak much, it leaks for a while after I shut it off and then it stops. I could live with this for quite a while but I just hate fluid leaks. Googling this issue has shown that it is a fairly common problem for Ford 3.0L engines after years of service. Mine is an '05 with 196K miles. Just put new tires on it....
Got an estimate from a shop, 10 hours of labor.
I decided to bite the bullet and have a shop fix it, I'm 68 and still change the oil and brakes, etc, but didn't want to tackle this. Cost was $1200 to replace gasket, water pump, heater hoses and radiator hoses, and the timing chain. The leak was not the water pump but the plate that the water pump mounts to, which also covers the timing chain.
Thanks for the replies and suggestions and I wanted to tell the final story in hopes of helping someone else on the forum.