Elliott finds salvation as Cowboys beat Buccaneers

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Having struggled last season, the Dallas Cowboys are in the midst of an excellent campaign, and rookie running back Ezekiel Elliott has been a huge part of rescuing them from mediocrity.

So Elliott's celebration of a touchdown in Dallas' 26-20 win over the Tampa Bay Buccaneers on Sunday was more than fitting.

After cruising his way into the endzone from short yardage to give the Cowboys a 10-3 lead, Elliott set his sights on a red Salvation Army kettle, leaping into it before being greeted by his jubilant team-mates.

The referees did not look kindly on the stunt, though, penalising Elliott for excessive celebration, costing the Cowboys 15 yards on the ensuing kick-off.

Cowboys owner and general manager Jerry Jones jokingly expressed a wish for the NFL to fine Elliott in order to gain more exposure for the charity work done by the Salvation Army.

"My dream is that the NFL would fine the daylights out of him, and I'm going to take them to the Supreme Court," Jones told reporters.

"And we're going to get the Salvation Army a lot of notice there."

The Cowboys victory moved them to 12-2 on the season, a year after they finished a lowly 4-12.

Elliott rushed for 159 yards against the Bucs, taking him to 1,551 yards and 13 touchdowns on the ground for the year. The former Ohio State back's displays have made him a legitimate contender for the MVP and Offensive Player of the Year awards.