Four Dallas Cowboys players were fined by the National Football League—or the “No Fun League,” as fans of TD celebrations may call it—after their Salvation Army-themed touchdown celebration.
All four fines vary in their amount, yet the fines result from the same touchdown celebration.
During Dallas’ game against New York Giants on Thanksgiving Day, tight end Peyton Hendershot found the end zone. After breaking the plane, he and three teammates ran behind the end zone and celebrated with a game of Whack-A-Mole.
Dalton Schultz, Jake Ferguson and Sean McKeon hopped into the big, red Salvation Army bucket on the sideline. Then, they each popped up and down while Hendershot socked them on the head like the classic arcade game.
However, after the celebration (seen above), the Cowboys’ players received fines in the mail.
The celebration nods to previous Dallas Cowboys, and it’s slowly becoming somewhat of a tradition. Back in 2006, Terrell Owens started the tradition with his charitable celebratory antics.
Ezekiel Elliott later hopped into the Salvation Army kettle back in 2016, becoming the first player to get in the bucket. This led to a huge increase in donations to the organization.
Salvation Army said it received $850,000 in online donations in less than 24 hours after Elliott’s bucket jump. Because of this, the NFL didn’t fine Elliott for his celebration.
Dallas Cowboys Will Pool Together Money to Pay Fine
However, now, they’ve reversed course and decided to fine the lower-profile Dallas players, despite the celebration becoming a tradition.
“We have those kettles there because we do want the visibility of reminding everybody, certainly at this time of year, how doing the most good is putting a dollar in that red kettle,” Cowboys owner Jerry Jones said in 2016. “To have gotten that attention in front of probably 20 million or so people last night for the Salvation Army was just wonderful.”
The league didn’t fine Elliott in 2016, but it did choose to fine him $13,000 for doing it again in 2018.
Apparently, quarterback Dak Prescott said that the team would pool money together to pay the fine.
It seems odd that the NFL would acknowledge Zeke’s donation impact after his celebration in 2016 and not fine him when this 2022 Thanksgiving game broke records for viewers.
Fines collected by the league don’t go directly to their pockets. They are donated to the NFL Player Care Foundation or the Gene Upshaw Player Assistance Trust through the NFL Foundation.
However, instead of taking Schultz, Ferguson, Hendershot and McKeon’s money at all, the NFL should have let them donate to the Salvation Army on their own.
The Dallas Cowboys host the Indianapolis Colts today in a Sunday night matchup that kicks off at 7:20 ET.