Dallas Cowboys

Was Elliott's jump in kettle greatest Cowboys end zone celebration?

Dallas Cowboys running back Ezekiel Elliott celebrates a touchdown inside the Salvation Army red kettle.
Dallas Cowboys running back Ezekiel Elliott celebrates a touchdown inside the Salvation Army red kettle. rrodriguez@star-telegram.com

Running back Ezekiel Elliott's jump in the Salvation Army Red Kettle bucket might be the video of the year in the NFL.

It's already a viral sensation. And it might not ever be forgotten because of the act and what it represented for the Salvation Army.

But in a season of records for the rookie running back sensation, the end zone celebration has earned Elliott a spot on the team's all-time list of celebrators.

It was a simple act but it's spontaneity and kid-like fun made it one of the greatest in team history.

It wasn't just that Elliott jumped in the red kettle. It was that he bent all the way down and then played peek a boo that made it an instant classic.

It makes my top five all time.

Here are my other four in Cowboys history.

▪  Former receiver Terrell Owens is one of the all-time greats in terms of end zone celebrations. But the one's were the best were the ones that were spontaneous and not orchestrated. That's why his popcorn celebration following a touchdown pass against the Green Bay Packers in 2007 was the best for me. His favorite slogan was "get your popcorn ready". So after a touchdown, somebody coincidentally had a box of popcorn in the back of the end zone. He handed it to Owens, who promptly poured it in his face through his helmet. No. 2 for Owens is the team he pre-dated Elliott by depositing the ball in the red kettle bucket following a touchdown.

▪  Hall of Fame running back Emmitt Smith wasn't known for his celebrations. The thing he was most known for was keeping all of his footballs after touchdowns. But there was that one time in 2000 when Smith had to prove a point. It came in response to Owens when he was a member of the San Francisco 49ers and disrespected the Cowboys by running to the blue star at midfield to celebrate a touchdown. He got lit up by safety George Teague. But Smith did him one better when he defiantly ran to midfield and slammed the ball down at the star following a touchdown to let Owens know whose house it was. The crowd went crazy.

▪  Receiver Butch Johnson might have been the first Cowboys player to have an end zone dance in the 1970s. His California Quake with the Texas Six-shooter was just behind Houston Oilers great Billy White Shoes Johnson's funky chicken and a split.

▪  Cornerback Deion Sanders is easily the greatest showman in Cowboys history. His high step and end zone dance was a trendsetter that has stood the test of time. Defensive backs of today frequently mimic Sander's end zone celebration when they score touchdowns today. Prime Time was all-time.

Clarence Hill: 817-390-7760, @clarencehilljr