We have arrived at the midpoint of the 1970s on NFL Thursday, and that means a look at Super Bowl X, too. The Pittsburgh Steelers won the Super Bowl again, as this would be a decade where three teams combined to win 8 Super Bowls on their own. Dynasties started becoming all the rage in professional football because of this era in the sport. Enjoy the read today …

(And if you’re wanting to, check out our first miniseries entry on this year for context.)

Super Bowl X MVP: Lynn Swann, WR, Pittsburgh (original, confirmed)

The Dallas Cowboys led the Pittsburgh Steelers at halftime, 10-7, but the defending champions reeled off 14 straight points in the fourth quarter to take charge of the game and win eventually, 21-17. However, those 14 points came very strangely: a safety, two field goals, and a touchdown with a missed extra point. How do we find an MVP in that kind of mess? Easy!

Steelers wide receiver Lynn Swann was named the MVP at the time, as he scored that key TD in the fourth quarter while totaling 161 yards receiving on just 4 receptions. There’s no doubt he was the dominant offensive player for Pittsburgh, and the long TD catch broke open a close game to all but seal the deal for the Steelers. Swann’s athleticism was on display all day long.

But what about the Pittsburgh defense? It forced three Dallas turnovers and held the Cowboys to just 270 total yards. Three different Steelers intercepted passes, while Pittsburgh defensive end L.C. Greenwood recorded 4 sacks in the game, unofficially, since sacks weren’t recorded officially as a statistic until 1982. So where does that leave us? Greenwood or Swann?

We are going to stick with Swann, as the Steelers defense notched 7 sacks overall and forced the turnovers while never committing a penalty. The Pittsburgh defense was an All-Star cast, while the Steelers offense was still a mediocre work in progress: to wit, Steelers quarterback Terry Bradshaw completed only 9 (!) passes all day, and the team averaged just 3.2 yards per carry on the ground.

1975 NFL ROTY: Mike Thomas, RB, Washington & Robert Brazile, LB, Houston (original); Randy White, LB, Dallas (revised)

The two vote winners here both came from teams that missed the postseason: Washington Redskins running back Mike Thomas (1,402 scrimmage yards and 7 TDs) and Houston Oilers linebacker Robert Brazile (7 sacks). Those are good seasons, but what about Dallas LB Randy White? He had six sacks and two fumble recoveries for a playoff team.

Cleveland Browns DE Mack Mitchell posted 9 sacks, although his team finished with just 3 wins while playing in the same division as the Steelers and the Oilers. In the end, we like White for this award: His impact, while not even a starter, was impressive for a rookie on a playoff team. Dallas went 10-4, and without White, maybe the Cowboys don’t make the NFC playoffs as the wild-card team.

Check in every Thursday for our NFL awards historical analysis on The Daily McPlay!