The Dallas Cowboys had fun in the 31-23 victory against the Washington Redskins on Thanksgiving Day.
And well they should.
It was their third straight win and it put them in first place in the NFC East with a 6-5 record after seemingly being left for dead at 3-5 just a four weeks ago.
The Cowboys played with energy and enthusiasm. But most importantly, they made plays, which allowed for them to score touchdowns and show creativity with their end zone celebrations from quarterback Dak Prescott, running back Ezekiel Elliott and receiver Amari Cooper.
So who had the best one?
Prescott’s five-yard touchdown run in the fourth quarter that put the Cowboys up 31-13 had the greatest degree of difficulty. He used a spin move to avoid a sack and then juked a defender before diving into the end zone for the touchdown. He covered 30 yards for the total five-yard run.
And then he went to the back of the end zone where Elliott lifted him into the Salvation Army Red Kettle in what was an ode to Elliott’s kettle jump from 2016. Prescott was flagged for excessive celebration and the 15-yard penalty led to a Redskins touchdown on the ensuing drive..
“I didn’t have any plans to do that and I guess Zeke did,” Prescott said. “He showed his strength. I was actually trying to not get in there but once he had me in the air I said I have to own it now and just jump in there before I got hurt.”
Prescott will likely get a fine for $10,026 for jumping in the red kettle.
Owner Jerry Jones said he would pay the fine if he could while lamenting the $2 million in fines he has given the league in the last year for battling the commissioner defending Elliott from a six-game suspension.
“Yes I am and any fine coming I’ll gladly add on to my credit,” Jones said. “You know they’ve knocked the fire out of my butt already this year with these fines. I’m about to run short.
Jones said the positive publicity for the Salvation Army is worth the fine and the trouble, proven by the spike in donations when Elliott jumped in the Kettle as a rookie.
“It may be one of the biggest moments we’ve had in our association with the Salvation Army when Zeke jumped in,” Jones said. “This is good stuff out there tonight. I love it and the attention going to help and making aware, that’s the purpose of this association, just create additional awareness for that great organization and they appreciate it so much. There is three million volunteers out here that are involved in these Red Kettles on Christmas Day and every one of them you’re giving them a thank you.”
Elliott donated some money on his own following a 16-yard run on the opening drive of the game. Using the help of a Cowboys photographer, who handed him a $20 bill and a $1 bill, Elliott dropped $21 in the Red Kettle to match his uniform number.
The most creative celebration may have come from Cooper after his 40-yard touchdown reception from Prescott in the third-quarter to break the game open.
Cooper ran to the middle of the end zone and directed his teammates to gather around a makeshift free throw line and he took a foul shot towards the goal post while mimicking the shooting form of Philadelphia 76ers struggling guard Markelle Fultz.
Fultz, who has struggled with his shot and confident, was a good sport about it. He responded on snap chat with, “good shot boy.”
Cooper was just happy he made the shot and his unsuspecting teammates played along.
“I just thought it would be a cool thing to do,” Cooper said.” I don’t really watch the NBA like that until playoff time, but I seen a couple of highlights of him doing it.
“I did (make it). I made sure that I shot the ball far enough to make the free throw,” Cooper said.
“No they didn’t (know)”, Cooper said of his teammates. “I was kind of skeptical about that because I didn’t know if they would know what I wanted them to do. But they’re smart guys, so they figured it out.”