ESPN’s Darren Rovell reported Cowboys quarterback Dak Prescott has been accused of using a machine to sign football cards. The above photos are some of the cards Beckett Grading Company refused to verify.
Beckett authenticator Steve Grad spoke with ESPN about the suspect cards.
“They had a very machine like feel,” Grad told ESPN. “You could see the starts and stops. I immediately knew they were autopen. I’ve never heard of a modern athlete doing this.”
It is important to note that even if the cards are fraudulent, it does not mean Prescott knew about the fake signatures. Rovell notes this in his story on the suspicious cards.
“It’s possible that Prescott never saw the cards, as blank labels to be signed and even cards themselves are often sent to marketing agents first,” Rovell writes.
Prescott not only excelled on the football field his rookie season, but has become one of the most popular NFL players. Walter Jones Jr., part of Prescott’s management team, spoke with The Dallas Morning News about Prescott’s marketing opportunities prior to the recent allegations.
We knew he was capable of doing what he was doing, but no one had any idea this would happen as fast as it did. There were sponsors lining up for the opportunity to work with Dak. We got a great marketing guy, and he knew that he probably needed to wait, to see how things panned out before he decided to go with a particular sponsor. … A lot of these people tracked his performance in [training] camp, on and off the field. They kind of knew that he could be that guy. They were positioning themselves.
This is not the first time this off-season the NFL has dealt with autograph controversy. Eli Manning and the Giants were involved in a lawsuit claiming both parties passed off “game-worn” memorabilia that were not game-worn. Manning has publicly refuted the claims.
“I will say that I have never done what I have been accused of doing,’’ Manning told the New York Post. “I have no reason, nor have I ever had any reason to do anything of that nature. I have done nothing wrong, and I have nothing to hide, and I know that when this is all done everybody will see it the same way.
It has been an interesting off-season for the Cowboys. Less than 24 hours before the autograph allegations broke, Cowboys linebacker Damien Wilson was arrested on charges of aggravated assault with a deadly weapon. The team has also dealt with additional league suspensions.
According to CBS Sports, the Cowboys have received the second-most performance enhancing drug-related suspensions since 2010. Most recently, defensive end David Irving was suspended for four games after failing a drug test.