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The Greatest Defensive Tackles of All Time

Updated June 7, 2020 42.3k votes 7.0k voters 153.8k views83 items

List RulesPlease 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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  • Joe Greene1
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    Charles Edward Greene (born September 5, 1946), better known as "Mean" Joe Greene, is a former...  more

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  • John Randle2
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    John Anthony Randle (born December 12, 1967) is a former American football defensive tackle...  more

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  • Aaron Donald5
    Aaron Charles Donald is an American football defensive tackle for the Los Angeles Rams of the...  more

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  • Warren Sapp8
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    Warren Carlos Sapp (born December 19, 1972) is a former American football defensive tackle. A...  more

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  • Randy White9
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    Randall Lee White (born January 15, 1953) is a former American football defensive tackle. He...  more

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  • Deacon Jones10
    David D. "Deacon" Jones (December 9, 1938 – June 3, 2013) was an American football defensive...  more

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  • Alex Karras11
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    Vincent Lamar Wilfork (born November 4, 1981) is a former American football nose tackle who...  more

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  • Cortez Kennedy17
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    Cortez Kennedy

    Cortez Kennedy (August 23, 1968 – May 23, 2017) was an American football defensive tackle who...  more
  • Jerome Brown18
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    Jerome Brown

    Willie Jerome Brown III (February 4, 1965 – June 25, 1992) was an American football defensive...  more

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    Joe Klecko

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  • Steve McMichael21
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    Steve McMichael

    New England Patriots, Green Bay Packers

    PositionDefensive tackle, Defensive lineman

    BirthplaceHouston, Texas, United States of America

    Age58

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  • Geno Atkins22
    Gene "Geno" Reynard Atkins Jr. (born March 28, 1988) is an American football defensive tackle...  more
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    Fletcher Cox

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  • Willie Davis25
    Willie D. Davis (born July 24, 1934) is a former American football defensive end for the...  more

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