It had been so long since Victor Cruz had scored a touchdown, there were teammates on the field with him who didn’t know how to act. After he caught the go-ahead 3-yard touchdown pass in the fourth quarter on Sunday against the Cowboys, a few of them accidentally started to come toward him to congratulate him.
Wrong, as Giants rookie receiver Sterling Shepard quickly realized.
“You have to give him his room so he can get that salsa dance in there,” Shepard said.
Others forgot, too.
Ereck Flowers, who had never played in a game with Cruz before Sunday, ran up to grab him in celebration but had to awkwardly shy away when Cruz’s hips started shaking.
Weston Richburg, who had been on the field for only one of Cruz’s touchdowns in early 2014, also had the inclination to swarm the receiver.
“It’s tough to go down and celebrate with him, too, because he has his own routine,” Richburg said. “I had to like fist-bump him from a distance and give him a high-five on the sideline. But it was cool. It was good for him.”
Shepard, too, waited for after the choreography to celebrate.
“I’m so happy for him,” the rookie said. “I haven’t been here through all he’s been through like Odell [Beckham Jr.] and some of these other guys, but I feel for him. It was great to see him get in that end zone and salsa dancing.”
Believe it or not, it was the first time Beckham was on the field for a Cruz touchdown. He was sidelined with a hamstring injury during his rookie season when Cruz last caught one. He, of course, knew exactly what would happen and got his (pretend) camera ready to snap pictures of the dance moves.
Of the 10 teammates on the field for Sunday’s touchdown, only six were on the team with Cruz in 2014 and only three had ever been on the field with him for a score.
While the initial response from other teammates may have been a bit awkward, the Giants are likely to get used to it rather quickly. Richburg, who usually picks up touchdown-scorers, said he’ll have to adjust his own tradition to work with Cruz’s.
“I’ll have to figure that out,” he said. “I’m not gonna salsa with him. He’s got a whole choreographed thing, so I can’t step on that.”