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Panini investigation finds some Dak Prescott signatures 'may not be authentic'

The company that distributed Dak Prescott-autographed sports cards that were allegedly signed by a machine said Friday that it conducted an investigation and found that some of the signatures "may not be authentic."

Panini America said in a statement that Prescott's representatives "have no knowledge" of how the cards in question were sent back to Panini. The company typically includes an affidavit with all products intended for signatures that certifies the item in question was signed by that athlete's hand.

A message to Prescott's representatives was not immediately returned.

The company said it was recalling the 167 redemption cards it sent to its customers and would be replacing them with new autographs from Prescott. According to Panini, the new cards will have a special Prescott hologram.

Panini officials said the company re-signed the Dallas Cowboys quarterback to a new deal on Thursday, the day after ESPN reported that Beckett Grading Services refused to verify Prescott's signature on Panini's 2016 Prizm set.

Steve Grad, principal authenticator at Beckett, said his company looked at five autographed cards from collectors who received Prescott autograph redemptions.

"They had a very machine-like feel," Grad said. "You could see the starts and stops."

The lack of natural flow associated with organic signatures led to Grad's conclusion that they were done by autopen, a machine that politicians have used to sign documents in bulk since the late 1950s.

"I immediately knew they were autopen," Grad said. "I've never heard of a modern athlete doing this."