The NFL announced last month that it would “relax” its touchdown celebration rules, allowing players to celebrate in ways which would have earned a penalty in previous years.
Among the changes include allowing group celebrations, using the football as a prop and going to the ground. Players will still be penalized for gestures deemed offensive in a sexual manner (such as twerking) or a violent reference (such as shooting a gun).
What coach pushed for these changes? None other than Dallas Cowboys coach Jason Garrett.
Baltimore coach John Harbaugh said he and Garrett “made a really strong case for what got passed” when they were at the owners’ meetings in late March.
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“It was a good discussion that we had at the owners’ meetings, and I think as much as anything else where we came at it as a coaching group was just to have a common sense approach to it,” Garrett said on Wednesday. “It just seemed like sometimes we had some rules in place that we didn’t really understand why those rules existed. There seemed to be some inconsistency to it. So we had a long discussion as a group and just tried to come up with some common sense parameters for how to instill some of the fun back into the game after somebody scores a touchdown without distracting from the team concept.
“We made some recommendations as a coaching group, and I think they used some of them. But it’s a tricky deal. We don’t want to take it away from the team. I think everybody understands that. But at the same time, football is fun. It’s fun to be part of the National Football League. For the players to have some fun and show some personality, I think that’s a positive thing for the league.”
The Cowboys had a memorable TD celebration penalized last year when running back Ezekiel Elliott leaped into The Salvation Army kettle after he scored.
Asked if the kettle jump would be OK going forward, Garrett smiled and said: “I don’t know the specifics of that. It’s probably in the small print somewhere.”