The offense had a mixed bag of good performances, led by quarterback Roger Staubach, making it hard to find a good MVP on that side of the ball.
White and Martin, however, weren’t exactly the right guys to honor together from the defense. They did dominate up front, combining for three sacks. But Kyle and Barnes, the Cowboys’ starting cornerbacks, helped hold the Broncos to just eight completions and 61 passing yards, and each had an interception.
This is hair-splitting with the first and only split Super Bowl MVP. The right (but impossible) answer would have been naming the entire Dallas D.
“The issue of kneeling has nothing to do with race. It is about respect for our Country, Flag and National Anthem,” Trump wrote Monday evening, contradicting not just the stated reasons of the kneeling players but a decades-long tradition of protesting racial injustice from the football field.
Trump kept tweeting about football for days, and his arguments became ever more esoteric. He promoted the hashtag #StandForOurAnthem as an alternative to the megaviral #TakeAKnee. He claimed his chief of staff, John Kelly, “totally agrees w/ my stance on NFL players.”
On Tuesday, Trump wrote that he’d never heard boos as loud as when the Dallas Cowboys took a knee.
On Wednesday, he praised the team’s owner, Jerry Jones: “Players will stand for Country!”
Some players had been kneeling during the pregame national anthem since the beginning of last season. The demonstrations were no longer the spectacle they were when 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick inspired them a year ago to protest police killings of unarmed black people.
Nevertheless, Trump repeated his demand on Sunday, just before sunrise at the New Jersey resort where he was weekending, in his first tweet of game day.
Hundreds of players — nearly entire teams in two cases — locked arms or bent a knee that evening. Interest in the kneeling players spiked massively, both on the news and in Web searches.
Executives, owners, coaches and most of the NFL’s 1,664 players “scrambled to figure out an appropriate response,” wrote ESPN: “A small protest .?.?. had now become a leaguewide, nationally polarizing crisis under Trump.”