Hitting the target

Dak Prescott appears – well, part of him appears – in a DirecTV commercial.

If Dak Prescott keeps this up, he may just become the most well known quarterback in Dallas Cowboys history. That is a mouthful, I know, and at this point he is not even close to Roger Staubach or Troy Aikman. However, Dak has burst onto the scene in a way that was not available to Roger or Troy.
Oh … I’m not talking about football here, rather the ability to transcend the game through commercials.
Dak’s play in his rookie season was so shocking in so many ways. After being drafted in the fourth round the previous spring he had little chance to get on the field. Then Tony Romo got hurt, then Kellen Moore got hurt, then Dak took his place in history. He led the Cowboys to a 13-3 record and played so well that when Romo was healthy again, he ceded control of the team to rookie out of Mississippi State.
Legends are made from that kind of season, and for the smart, good looking, down-to-earth leader of America’s Team, money is made from that kind of season, too. That’s television commercial money, aka “Big Money.”
Dak has been featured in several television commercials, most of them having something to do with football – but not all of them. For example, in one spot Dak trades places with an office manager at an architecture firm while the normal manager enjoys a bowl of Chunky soup. Dressed in his Cowboys uniform, Dak informs the workers that they must work the weekend. He even tells one employee that he must miss his wedding. It is funny, well written, and Dak is believable as the fill-in office manager.
There is one spot for Champs that is a long dramatic read over various highlights of Dak playing. He is very good on the read (and the playing, for that matter). His signature line is delivered perfectly: “This is my moment!”
My favorites are both to promote the Sunday Ticket on DirecTV. The first one appears to be a one-man Peyton Manning show. It is 90 seconds long and it shows Peyton as the commissioner of a fantasy football league. Peyton is awesome in the spot, and, as a quick aside, he may be the best athlete/pitchman ever. At the end of the spot Peyton is talking to Dak on the phone, and Prescott says, “Peyton, man, you need to get a job.”
It’s a great line and possibly even ad-libbed, “Some of it is ad-lib,” Prescott admits. “Some of it I just wing it.”
The fact that he is not dwarfed by the commercially polished Manning is an accomplishment in itself. Dak’s tone is just right as he delivers the line with the perfect amount of ironic concern.
Then there is the other DirecTV spot where a couch potato goes from scene to scene saying, “we don’t want part of the action; we want all of it.”
In the final scene we see just the head of Dak wearing his helmet, superimposed on his leg wearing Cowboys uniform pants. Dak has only one line, “Hello, Charlie.” But he nails it!
And when Charlie tries to dap the bodiless Dak, Prescott gives him the perfect, “no can do, Charlie” look.
Dak says this spot is the most talked about because it is, “one of the strangest, and I’d say it’s probably the favorite just because everybody, my teammates and everyone, die laughing at it,” Prescott says with a smile.
For Roger and, to a lesser extent, Troy, the widespread notoriety followed success on the field.
Meantime, Dak is featured in multiple commercials when he has not even led his team to a playoff win.
If this team is as good as many of us think it will be, Dak may become as revered as Staubach and Aikman and as commercially prolific as Peyton Manning.

Sports columnist John Rhadigan is an anchor for the Fox Sports Southwest television network.