One thing just about all football fans can agree on is that the NFL’s new taunting rule is not fun.
Another painful exhibit went on display in the Chiefs vs. Cowboys game Sunday. Kansas City running back Clyde Edwards-Helaire caught a pitch from Patrick Mahomes at the 5-yard line, 4 yards behind the line of scrimmage, and took it to the house for a 1-yard touchdown run.
As he was coasting into the end zone, he pointed at Cowboys linebacker Luke Gifford to celebrate the score. Edwards-Helaire was flagged for taunting.
— NFL (@NFL) November 21, 2021
As the NFL rulebook says, taunting is unsportsmanlike conduct. It is defined as “baiting or taunting acts or words that may engender ill will between teams.”
The 15-yard penalty was enforced after the touchdown, forcing Harrison Butker to attempt a 48-yard PAT kick instead of a 33-yard kick.
Some people wondered why the touchdown was allowed to stand. After all, Edwards-Helaire pointed at Gifford before he reached the end zone. He clearly pointed at Gifford at about the 1.
Clyde Edwards-Helaire was called for taunting because he pointed at #Cowboys LB Luke Gifford.
Not sure how Gifford will recover from that. pic.twitter.com/80QCqNJg5b
— Ari Meirov (@MySportsUpdate) November 21, 2021
According to the NFL rulebook, the penalty for taunting is 15 yards “from the succeeding spot or whatever spot the Referee, after consulting with the crew, deems equitable.” In this case, the succeeding spot was the end zone, meaning that enforcement was on the point after.
The general consensus about the penalty itself was that it was, at best, a questionable flag.
Clyde Edwards-Helaire pointed a finger at a defender and got a flag for taunting.
What a joke.
— Field Yates (@FieldYates) November 21, 2021
just imagine all the children that will be scarred forever because Clyde Edwards-Helaire pointed a finger after scoring a TD..let’s not forget about the children #DALvsKC
— Lance Medow (@LanceMedow) November 21, 2021
Clyde Edwards-Helaire is penalized for taunting (pointing at a defender).
What a dumb sentence I just typed.
— Chris Roush (@chrisRroush) November 21, 2021
Should Clyde Edwards-Helaire be in jail right now? Who’s to say https://t.co/ixSVMWb6dn
— And the Valley Thanks🦃🦃🦃 (@ATVShook) November 21, 2021
“That is a disgusting act by Clyde Edwards-Helaire and it’s unfortunate that we had that on our air live.” pic.twitter.com/8IRr4gj7B0
— Jake Gould (@jakegould10) November 21, 2021
Clyde Edwards-Helaire should be banned for life! That’s just inhumane what he did, I genuinely fear for the Cowboy players state of mind, he deserves a medal for keepin his composure in that moment. We don’t need scenes like that on the lords day 🙄😒 pic.twitter.com/efuXIYBUHY
— Tipp9🔥 (@Tippex9) November 21, 2021