Ezekiel Elliott broke a 3-3 tie with the Buccaneers on Sunday night with a short-range touchdown run that required little effort on his part. It was like every other walk-in touchdown from in close.
His celebration, however, was anything by ordinary. After crossing the goal line, the Cowboys rookie didn't slow down, actually speeding up and zooming through the back of the end zone. He reached his target a few seconds later.
His destination? A gigantic Salvation Army kettle, which he hopped into.
Unfortunately, he technically used a prop to celebrate. And that meant, of course, that he was flagged and the Cowboys were docked 15 yards, because rules are rules.
Here's how ESPN's Kevin Seifert interpreted the officials' enforcement of the rule:
The NFL's anti-celebration rules are designed to 1) Avoid causing confrontations with opponents and 2) Setting poor examples for lower levels of football. Cowboys RB Ezekiel Elliott violated neither goal by jumping into a Salvation Army kettle after his touchdown. The league has given officials some level of flexibility in judging celebrations, but referee Terry McAulay apparently felt he Elliott went too far. That's too bad.
If all scoring plays are automatically reviewed, maybe celebration penalties should be too. And in fairness to Elliott, he definitely did complete the process of the celebration.