The Greatest Defensive Tackles of All Time

Over 8.1K Ranker voters have come together to rank this list of The Greatest Defensive Tackles of All Time
Voting Rules
Please rank the players based on their career accomplishments

The key to a winning football games is winning the battle in the trenches. For a defense, the unsung hero down fighting in the frontlines is a defensive tackle. These big, burly guys are the anchor of the defense. Without a great defensive tackle, other pieces of the defense may not be able to function as crisply without these important players. For the most part, only diehard football fans recognize the contributions of defensive tackles and defensive linemen. These guys may not put up the biggest numbers, but often times they can occupy several offensive linemen, clearing the way for their teammates to make a big play.

There are a number of familiar names on this list of the greatest defensive tackles. "Mean" Joe Greene, Bruce Smith and Howie Long are some of the most popular players in Pittsburgh Steelers, Buffalo Bills and Oakland/Los Angeles Raiders history. Many of these defensive tackles have taken their place in the Pro Football Hall of Fame, proving how valuable they were to their team's successes. This list starts with the greatest players of all time and ends with the players who are prett 

Vote for who you think should be considered the greatest defensive tackle of all time on this Ultimate List. There are plenty of great players on this list so you really can't go wrong with who you choose.
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Ranked by
  • Joe Greene
    3,987 votes
    Charles Edward Greene (born September 5, 1946), better known as "Mean" Joe Greene, is a former American football defensive tackle who played for the Pittsburgh Steelers of the National Football ...more
  • Reggie White
    2,281 votes
    Reginald Howard White (December 19, 1961 – December 26, 2004) was an American professional football player who played defensive end in the National Football League (NFL) for 15 seasons during the ...more
  • Deacon Jones
    1,413 votes
    David D. "Deacon" Jones (December 9, 1938 – June 3, 2013) was an American football defensive end in the National Football League (NFL) for the Los Angeles Rams, San Diego Chargers, and the Washington ...more
  • Aaron Donald
    2,150 votes
    Aaron Charles Donald (born May 23, 1991) is an American football defensive tackle for the Los Angeles Rams of the National Football League (NFL). He played college football at Pittsburgh, where he ...more
  • Alan Page
    3,042 votes
    Alan Cedric Page (born August 7, 1945) is a retired jurist and former professional American football player. He gained national recognition as a defensive tackle in the National Football League ...more
  • Bob Lilly
    2,384 votes
    Robert Lewis Lilly (born July 26, 1939), nicknamed "Mr. Cowboy", is a former American football defensive tackle and photographer. After a college career at Texas Christian University (TCU), he played ...more