Stephen Hawkins, AP Sports columnist
ARLINGTON, Texas (AP) — Obstructing a defenseman in an open field was just an instinctive move by Jake Ferguson. This unique celebration with three other Dallas Cowboys after a touchdown a few plays later was a plan he came up with ahead of time.
And it was Ferguson who was hit in the head during a live Whac-A-Mole celebration in the Cowboys’ 28–20 Thanksgiving victory, another blow to the New York Giants in a once-promising season that seem to fall apart with three losses in their last four games.
After rookie Peyton Hendershot scored on a 2-yard sweep that broke through the blocks of two other tight ends to get into the end zone, he immediately directed the rest of his group to one of the Salvation Army’s huge red bowlers from behind. end zone.
“We just saw the kettle and were just thinking in a narrow room like what we can do,” Ferguson said. “What if all three of us are there and we just play Whac-A-Mole. Because we knew that Peyton put on this play for a couple of weeks, and we knew that he was going to get there, and we would have an opportunity.”
Dalton Schultz, Sean McKeon and Ferguson jumped into the kettle, then started jumping up and down before Hendershot used the ball like a mallet with both hands and hit Ferguson on the top of his head.
“If all four tight ends are played, we’re going to score a touchdown, we have to do something special,” Hendershot said. “When they called (the play), we knew it was time to go.”
Schultz said he honestly didn’t know if the three tight ends would fit together in a teapot.
“I didn’t know it was soft either, so I was a little happy about it,” Schultz said.
This was the Cowboys’ final score for their annual Thanksgiving game, which also serves as the start of the Salvation Army’s holiday fundraiser.
While the tight ends were not the first to use kettles as part of their touchdown celebration, they did so as a group. Running back Ezekiel Elliot once threw money and himself into a big red bucket, and another time he picked up Duck Prescott and put the quarterback in one.
“They have surpassed me. They surpassed my teapot celebration,” Elliot said. – I’m a little jealous. You know they didn’t let me into it, but I love those tight endings.”
It was a celebration that wouldn’t have happened even if the Cowboys had won the challenge in the previous draw when C.D. Lamb made an incredible haul in the back of the end zone. The challenge was issued by coach Mike McCarthy after Lamb was ruled out of bounds, a challenge that was upheld after watching a replay.
A few plays prior, Ferguson jumped into the air to catch the ball with two hands, which turned into a 30-yard win for the Giants 24. After an open field catch near 45, he took off and went over 6. Jason Pinnock approached the 30 mark, then ran for another a few yards before lowering his shoulder to cornerback Rodarius Williams.
“Cleaned someone? Never,” Ferguson said of the hurdle. “This will probably be the last time I jump this year, because now the guys will jump high, it will set them up a bit. But yeah, I really don’t know how to explain it.”
As for dropping his head and crashing into Williams, Ferguson said, “Maybe my legs are a little tired.”
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