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Deny, Deny, Deny: Dak Prescott Has “No Knowledge” of Fake Autographs

Jess Haynie

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Dak Prescott
Ashley Landis/Dallas Morning News

This past Wednesday, the accusation that an autopen machine was used to put Dak Prescott autographs on trading cards was made public. To no one's surprise, Prescott has since denied any knowledge of or involvement in the activity.

Panini America, a publishing company that works with Prescott on these cards, released a statement on Friday which seemed to absolve Dak and his representatives of blame.

"Prescott and his representatives have worked closely with Panini during this process since becoming aware of the discrepancies and have no knowledge of how those cards were returned to Panini."

The statement also details that Prescott fully cooperated in an investigation with Panini. The company announced a new long-term agreement with Dak for future business, which shows they must be satisfied with his explanation.

Dak Prescott

QB Dak Prescott

The potential fraud was uncovered by an authenticator from Beckett Grading Services, who said the five Prescott cards that he examined had a "machine-like feel." This was assumed to be from an autopen device, which mechanically duplicates user signatures. This machine is most commonly associated with politicians, but other celebrities and business people could easily make use of them.

While Panini America appears happy with Dak's response, claiming "no knowledge" is the typical strategy in these situations. Tom Brady initially claimed to have no awareness of the activities that led to Deflategate. Earlier this year, Eli Manning claimed no knowledge of potential fraud involving "game-worn" memorabilia.  Evidence has since come out that puts both of their claims into question.

That said, given the representation and other entourage that star NFL quarterbacks take on, it's entirely plausible that Prescott truly didn't know what was happening. Obviously, all Cowboys fans hope this is the last we'll hear about this incident.


Cowboys fan since 1992, blogger since 2011. Bringing you the objectivity of an outside perspective with the passion of a die-hard fan. I love to talk to my readers, so please comment on any article and I'll be sure to respond!

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4 Comments
  • Randy Martin

    I hope this was a little tongue-in-cheek….far too much written on this topic. Its what happens when a childhood hobby turns into big business. What hasn’t been written or explained is the entire process on how cards get original signatures and then placed into a sealed pack. Does the company ship them to an athlete or agent and then they are mailed back? Do athletes go to the facility and sign them? A simple understanding of that process would reveal where the fraud lies. And if its on Dak, that is hardly in the same ballpark with Deflategate. I wouldn’t blame him either as far too much is asked by society to get a piece of celebrities anyway because at the end of the day these men and women are simply human beings, same as you and I. Our obsession with stars and autographs is a harsher indictment on society, than the celebrities themselves.

    • ThePsychodad69

      Panini manned up and said they did it and will replace them with real autographs with a hologram making the others insignificant.

      The fault lies with the so called authenticator, pretty sure those packs will be worth something once most are swept up and destroyed.

      I bought 200 Emmitt, for this reason, destroyed 150 sat on 25 and sold 25 for my initial 200.

      Part of the game, don’t be a rube.

      • Kevin Black

        It is part of the game, but those unfamiliar with the game will take the story at face value unfortunately. This story will have legs long past today if Das keeps having success. In American, proof has become secondary to accusation.

    • Jess Haynie

      I don’t disagree with anything you said about the trading card/sports memorabilia industry. Not a fan of it, either. However, those feelings don’t excuse anyone for exploiting fans who are paying the money for what they believe is a genuine autograph or game-worn (e.g. Eli Manning) jersey or helmet. Not saying Dak did that or was at all aware of what happened, but I don’t fault people who’d be upset by it.

      Honestly, if a player is caught engaging in some kind of autograph/memorabilia fraud, I have no issue with the league suspending them. You’re taking advantage of the fans at that point, and that’s far more that the NFL should be worried about than players smoking marijuana.

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Maliek Collins Playing Excellent for Cowboys Defense

John Williams

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Maliek Collins

For the Dallas Cowboys on the interior, a lot of the news consistently surround the availability of Defensive Tackle David Irving, but Maliek Collins is playing excellent right now. While I'm willing to be very patient with Irving because of the elite talent he brings, Maliek Collins should continue to start for the Dallas Cowboys at 3-technique defensive tackle.

Collins has been a player that the Cowboys have bounced between the nose tackle and the 3T position with the hopes of getting their best players on the field, and because of the lack of a consistent presence at the 1-technique or nose tackle position. Well, with Antwaun Woods taking control at the 1T, Collins has been able to play at the position where he's at his best. The 3-tech.

He hasn't put huge numbers in the sack column this season, but that doesn't mean he's been absent from being the disruptive player he's been through his first two and a half seasons.

During the Dallas Cowboys five game winning streak, Maliek Collins has led the Dallas Cowboys defensive tackles in total pressures with 13, according to Pro Football Focus. PFF combines sacks, quarterback hits, and hurries into their "pressures." Collins hasn't recorded a sack during the winning streak, but he has four quarterback hits and nine hurries. He's tied with Tyrone Crawford for third in total pressures behind DeMarcus Lawrence and Randy Gregory over the last five weeks.

Over the last five weeks, Collins leads the defensive tackles in solo tackles with five and is tied with Crawford and Antwaun Woods with three run stops on defense, according to Pro Football Focus. Collins has also has two tackles for loss in the last five games and recovered Tyrone Crawford's force fumble on Sunday against the Philadelphia Eagles.

Collins had six sacks in his rookie season when he played primarily as the 3T, which allowed him to see more one-on-one blocks against opposing interior offensive linemen. Especially with the way the rest of the defensive line is playing.

With the Cowboys on the road to face the Indianapolis Colts this week, Collins is going to have a tough matchup with a very good Colts offensive line, in particular, rookie Quentin Nelson. Collins ability to get pressure on Andrew Luck on the interior is a huge key for the Dallas Cowboys this week. We know that Gregory and Lawrence will get their pressures, but if Andrew Luck is able to step up into a clean pocket, it will make for a much more challenging game for the Cowboys secondary.

Collins has proved to be up to any task over the last five weeks and if he's able to keep playing at such a high level, he'll make the Cowboys coaching staff, and the rest of Cowboys Nation forget about using other defensive tackles. For the Cowboys to make a deep push in the playoffs, they'll need Collins to be a big time player for them moving forward.


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Amari Cooper Wins 2nd NFC Offensive Player of the Week Award of 2018

Jess Haynie

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Amari Cooper

For the second time in just three weeks, Dallas Cowboys receiver Amari Cooper has been named the NFC Offensive Player of the Week.

Cooper scored three touchdowns, including the game winner in overtime, to lead the Cowboys to victory last Sunday against the Philadelphia Eagles. He has 10 catches for 217 yards, which led all NFL receivers last week.

Dallas Cowboys on Twitter

After his record-setting performance during week 14, @AmariCooper9 is the FIRST #DallasCowboys to win NFC Player of the Week twice in a season! → https://t.co/kvBDIeOgBd #ProBowlVote #ProBowlVote #ProBowlVote #ProBowlVote #ProBowlVote #ProBowlVote

As the official website stated, Cooper is the first Cowboy to win the award twice in the same year. He's also the first Cowboy to be named Offensive Player of the Week since Ezekiel Elliott in 2016.

Before this year, Elliott was the only Dallas player to win the Offensive award in three seasons. Cooper has now done it twice in three weeks.

Since being traded to the Cowboys, Amari Cooper has amassed 40 catches for 642 yards and six touchdowns.

His wasted time in Oakland may keep Cooper out of the Pro Bowl this year, but he's already become a fan favorite in Cowboys Nation. Congratulations to Amari for another well-deserved award!


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David Irving Out Again for Cowboys, Does Defense Need Him?

Sean Martin

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David Irving Out Again for Cowboys, Does Defense Need Him?

Dallas Cowboys Defensive Tackle David Irving, once a key member of the team's defense, will not make his return after all against the Philadelphia Eagles on Sunday. For the second straight week, Irving was reportedly trending towards suiting up before being ruled out. The Cowboys haven't missed his unique presence for 13 weeks (playing against the Jaguars and Redskins), including through an ongoing four game win streak that began with a win against these Eagles on the road.

In that road win, veteran Tyrone Crawford recorded a sack and three tackles, while Antwaun Woods added two for a Dallas defense that held Philadelphia to 23 first downs and 71 rushing yards. The Eagles managed to cross the Cowboys' 30-yard line just four times.

There are many scenarios in which the Cowboys could have cut ties with Irving for not being worth the off-field trouble he's caused - beginning the season with a four game suspension. The absolute best case scenario is what they've realized amidst this turnaround, with other defensive linemen taking advantage of the opportunity left behind by Irving.

While it can still be true that Irving would make more splash plays than the likes of Crawford, Woods, Maliek Collins, and Caraun Reid, this defensive tackle group deserves praise for their ability to step in. Pass rush ability is one thing teams can't have enough of, and the Cowboys are missing some with Irving, finding ways to win thanks to the other traits these defenders bring to the table.

Cowboys Passing Game Coordinator Kris Richard may effectively be the team's defensive coordinator with an emphasis on the back seven, but DC Rod Marinelli's impact is still felt - particularly up front. Regardless of where they're lined up and deployed, the Cowboys front four is expected to be disruptive on every snap, something this scrappy unit excels at.

Prepared once again to play on the edge this season, Crawford is thriving at his original position of 3T-DT. Crawford has two sacks, nine total tackles, and three other hits on the quarterback over the past four weeks. Leading by example with a relentless spirit on every play, Crawford has meant just as much to the Cowboys defensive ends as Irving could.

In a short period of time, the Cowboys have gone from building up Irving thanks to his transcendent ability to make those around him better to simply -- and importantly -- being better across the defense.

Led by DeMarcus Lawrence as their premier rusher, the Cowboys defensive line is a lot for opposing offenses to contain. The "Hot Boyz" work up front has allowed Linebackers Jaylon Smith and Leighton Vander Esch to play fast and make plays all over the field.

Maliek Collins, battling back from his second broken foot in three years, is proving again he's a patented Marinelli guy. Collins' play speaks for itself when considering if the Nebraska product is best as a 3T or 1T tackle. Wherever he's asked to play, Collins creates penetration with an explosive first step and can finish at the quarterback with an array of power rush moves.

At 7-5 and fighting for their playoff lives, the Cowboys are done making excuses on the 2018 season. Their strides on defense speak for themselves, and with a group that keeps Dallas in every game they'll play, the door remains open for David Irving to earn snaps again when ready.

The Cowboys don't know any better than their play without Irving right now, and as winners of four straight, it's worth questioning if we'll see Irving over the last three weeks of the regular season.

Tell us what you think about "David Irving Out Again for Cowboys, Does Defense Need Him?" in the comments below. You can also email me at Sean.Martin@InsideTheStar.com, or Tweet to me at @SeanMartinNFL!


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