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Salvation Army says Ezekiel Elliott’s leap led to increased donations

Jerry Jones was prepared to fight for Ezekiel Elliott if the NFL came knocking, but the Dallas Cowboys running back will not be fined for celebrating a touchdown by jumping into the Salvation Army kettle.

Shortly after Cowboys running back Ezekiel Elliott celebrated a touchdown by hopping into an oversized Salvation Army kettle behind the end zone in Dallas on Sunday night, the organization tweeted out a picture of Elliott to ask for donations.

It appears to have found an audience. Lt. Col. Ron Busroe of the Salvation Army told Darren Rovell of ESPN that the organization took in $182,000 in online donations in the 12.5 hours after Elliott’s dip in the kettle. That marked a 61 percent increase in donations over what they took in over the same time period a week ago and Busroe said it’s been welcome as they’ve seen lower donations from their traditional street kettles this year.

“We needed this boost,” Busroe said. “It’s certainly the most we’ve been talked about in the five years I’ve been here. We were trending on Twitter last night.”

Elliott was penalized for the jump and said he would match a fine from the league -- typically $12,154 for excessive celebration -- with a donation to the Salvation Army. The league said Monday that Elliott will not be fined, but Elliott said he’ll still be making the donation.