Ezekiel Elliott’s Salvation Army kettle celebration applauded, not fined

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Cowboys running back Ezekiel Elliott will not be fined over $ 12,000 for his celebration Salvation Army kettle on Sunday night against the Buccaneers, the NFL announced on Monday. Cruising on his way into the end zone, Eliot wanted to place the red Salvation Army bucket, leaping at him before being greeted by jubilant team mate.

The referees did not look kindly on the stunt, though, penalizing Elliott for excessive celebration and costing the Cowboys 15 yards on the ensuing kickoff.

The Salvation Army enjoyed added publicity from the celebration. According to Apex Marketing, Elliott’s leap into the Salvation Army kettle was worth $200,000 in TV ad exposure to the brand.

1. It was just too damn tempting, Elliott said:

“That bucket is just sitting right there by the end zone, so it’s only right someone jumps in it.”

2. Cowboys owner Jerry Jones, meanwhile, thinks Elliott deserves an award, plus welcomes any fine and (surprise!) the publicity it might bring, he said (via ESPN.com):

“I think the Salvation Army should give him the highest award. My dream would be for the NFL to really fine me a lot of money and I’ll take them to the Supreme Court and we’ll get the Salvation Army more attention than anybody can get them. So let’s go.”

3. The celebration wasn’t as impromptu as you might’ve thought but it was surprising nonetheless, fellow star rookie Dak Prescott told reporters (via The Associated Press):

“He was actually talking about that pregame, should he do it, will they fine him. I didn’t know he was actually going to go down and come back up slow. Got a good laugh out of it, him coming up real slowly. It was funny.”

4. Funny? Um, Cowboys coach Jason Garrett says not so much (via the Fort Worth Star-Telegram):

“He shouldn’t have done it. I thought it was creative, but he shouldn’t have done it. You have to understand what’s legal and what’s not legal. You can jump into the stands in Green Bay, but you can’t jump into a Salvation Army bucket in Dallas. So we have to be more mindful of that. I’ve got to coach that better.”

5. Even the Salvation Army weighed in — first acknowledging Elliott’s “donation” …

… and then in a not-so-subtle way, ESPN accused the charity of “using Elliott” to raise money by tweeting a congratulations to him.

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