Dak Prescott the pitchman? Perks include private plane

Graziano ranks Cowboys behind Bengals, Chiefs in QB confidence (1:07)

While breaking down his QB Confidence Index, Dan Graziano says there is no reason to doubt Dak Prescott's talent, but there is only a small sample size for evaluation. (1:07)

FRISCO, Texas -- As you walk into the 7-Eleven less than a mile from The Star, the Dallas Cowboys' headquarters, Dak Prescott is ready to greet you.

Well, not the real Dak Prescott. It is a life-size cutout of the Cowboys' quarterback, smiling and holding what appears to be a microwavable chicken parmesan dinner. He's not in his uniform because 7-Eleven isn't an official NFL sponsor, but he's in a blue jersey with his No. 4.

A year ago, as he entered the season opener against the New York Giants, Prescott was a hopeful rookie, filling in for an injured Tony Romo, the franchise leader in touchdown passes and passing yards.

As he begins his second season with Dallas' opener Sunday against the New York Giants at AT&T Stadium in Arlington, Texas, Prescott is as recognizable as any NFL player, thanks mostly to what he did last season on the field -- leading the Cowboys to a 13-3 record on the way to winning Offensive Rookie of the Year -- but also off it.

Prescott is featured in ads for DirecTV, the same company that introduced the "artsy-craftsy" Romo in 2015. Prescott has picked up endorsements with brands such as Beats By Dre, New Era, Chunky Soup, Pepsi and Frito-Lay. He also has a deal with Nicholas Air, a private jet company.

He signed a deal with Adidas before last season that was altered after his breakout performance. Now he will be a bigger part of the company's national promotions.

In the spring, he was asked about the coolest part of his off-field endorsements.

"Getting to play for the Cowboys," he said.

Besides that?

"Still getting to play for the Dallas Cowboys," he said with a chuckle.

How about the private plane?

"OK, that is cool," he said. "I will give you that one."

That Prescott has been so sought-after for endorsements is not surprising. The Cowboys are the most valued sports franchise in the world and he plays the most popular position, carrying a legacy started by Don Meredith and handed off to Roger Staubach, Troy Aikman and Romo. The Cowboys play in front of the biggest television audiences, which drives advertising.

That Prescott is successful and has a compelling background makes him even more marketable. He was not highly recruited coming out of Haughton, Louisiana. He went to Mississippi State, a solid SEC school, and drove them to No. 1 in the polls -- a first in school history. He wasn't a first-, second- or third-round pick. He was selected in the fourth round, but he wasn't even the Cowboys' first fourth-round pick.

He displays a daily devotion to his mother, Peggy, who died of cancer while he was at Mississippi State.

"That's what makes him special and that's why people gravitate towards him," said Pat O'Toole, senior director of marketing at Frito-Lay North America. "You've got the personal backstory and the trials and tribulations of him losing his mother when he was in college. ... Really, just every situation he's been in, it seems like he has had the chips stacked against him. Getting drafted in the fourth round, then kind of through injury, getting thrust into a starting role and the biggest spotlight there is in the sporting world in the United States, and to be able to succeed the way he did is one part. Off the field, just how he handled a really tough situation, all of that really built into his character and why our consumers gravitate towards him."

Prescott is one of four NFL players Frito-Lay's Tostitos chips has picked for its Lucky Bags campaign. New Era, the official cap of the NFL, chose Prescott as one of five NFL brand ambassadors, along with Le'Veon Bell, Khalil Mack, Greg Olsen and Sterling Shepard.

Chunky Soup will feature Prescott in national advertising during the season.

"We typically look at a player and their fit with the brand, and then look at the team," said Abby Elu, marketing manager for Chunky Soup. "The Cowboys are a nationally loved team with a wide fan base and a great record. We are excited to partner with them this year."

Prescott received a signing bonus of $383,392 before last season. His base salary of $540,000 is tied for 70th among quarterbacks. He isn't even the highest-paid quarterback on the Cowboys' roster: Kellen Moore makes $775,000.

The collective bargaining agreement prevents the Cowboys from offering Prescott a multiyear extension until after the 2018 season.

The endorsements don't put him in the category of the quarterback with the highest base salary. That's the Washington Redskins' Kirk Cousins, who is set to earn $23,943,600. But they help make up for where Prescott was drafted.

In the offseason, many eyes from inside and outside the organization were on Prescott. They wanted to see how he would react to the success. While he has enjoyed the fruits that come with it, he was also one of the Cowboys' award winners for his work in the offseason program.

"Every once in a while, I maybe see a new pair of sneakers or something, but he's a real private guy and he knows that's not important," offensive coordinator Scott Linehan said. "I know from a personal side, it's part of the business, but from a team side he doesn't want that to be a distraction. I've heard him say that, but to me it's what he's put into action, and he never compromises meeting times or anything we're doing. He knows there's a right time and wrong time for things at a young age, which is rare."

The Cowboys do business with some of the same companies that Prescott endorses, and team executive vice president Stephen Jones was told that the quarterback delivered a direct message to all of the companies he works with: Football takes precedence.

Most of his photo shoots and commercials were filmed in the offseason. He has one project with Frito-Lay that will be done during this season's bye week, which is Week 6 in mid-October. It will feature him in an ad that will come out around Thanksgiving with the Salvation Army.

"The only reason they want to talk to me is because I play good football, so I need to keep doing what got me there, and they all understand that," Prescott said. "The people at my corner understand that, and they know how important this game and working is to me."

On Wednesday, Prescott was asked about his goals for 2017.

"To win," Prescott said. "That's all I worry about each and every week, is to win."