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List of Famous Football Defensive ends

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Updated June 14, 2019 29.1k views 1,391 items

List of the most famous (American) football defensive ends in the history of the sport, listed by popularity with photos of the players when available. There have been many legendary defensive ends in the NFL and NCAA, and you'll find all of them on this list below. Some of these men are considered to be the best defensive ends to ever play the game, and if you're looking for a specific football player you can look for them by using the "search" function on this list. These amazing defensive ends may currently be active while others have been retired for quite sometime. This list of the top defensive ends in American football includes all the greats from both the NFL and college football.

You can rank all of these items, from Reggie White to Alan Page.

This list answers the questions, "Who is the greatest defensive end of all time?" and "Who are the best defensive ends of all time?"
1
Reggie White is listed (or ranked) 1 on the list List of Famous Football Defensive ends
Defensive tackle and Defensive end from Chattanooga, Tennessee, United States of America

Age: Died at 43 (1961-2004)

Teams: Green Bay Packers, Carolina Panthers, Philadelphia Eagles, Tennessee Volunteers football, Memphis Showboats

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 ...more

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#523 of 925 People We Wish Were Still Alive #1,951 of 2,181 The Best Athletes Of All Timelisted on Athletes You Didn't Know Were Conservative

2
Julius Peppers is listed (or ranked) 2 on the list List of Famous Football Defensive ends
Defensive end from Wilson, North Carolina

Age: 35

Teams: North Carolina Tar Heels football, Chicago Bears, Carolina Panthers

Julius Frazier Peppers (born January 18, 1980) is a former American football defensive end. He played college football at North Carolina, where he was recognized as a unanimous All-American, and ...more

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#1,983 of 2,181 The Best Athletes Of All Time #124 of 350 People Who Should Be in the Pro Football Hall of Fame #30 of 542 The Greatest Defenders in NFL History

3
J. J. Watt is listed (or ranked) 3 on the list List of Famous Football Defensive ends
Defensive end from Waukesha, Wisconsin

Age: 26

Teams: Houston Texans, Wisconsin Badgers football, Central Michigan Chippewas football

Justin James "J. J." Watt (born March 22, 1989) is an American football defensive end for the Houston Texans of the National Football League (NFL). He was drafted by the Texans with ...more

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#1,783 of 2,181 The Best Athletes Of All Time #13 of 542 The Greatest Defenders in NFL History #37 of 1,537 The Best Football Players Ever

4
Dwight Freeney is listed (or ranked) 4 on the list List of Famous Football Defensive ends
Outside Linebacker and Defensive end from Hartford, Connecticut, United States of America

Age: 35

Teams: Indianapolis Colts, Syracuse Orange football, San Diego Chargers

Dwight Jason Freeney (born February 19, 1980) is a former American football defensive end who played 16 seasons in the National Football League (NFL). He played college football at Syracuse, ...more

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#150 of 350 People Who Should Be in the Pro Football Hall of Fame #65 of 542 The Greatest Defenders in NFL History #184 of 1,537 The Best Football Players Ever

5
Lee Roy Selmon is listed (or ranked) 5 on the list List of Famous Football Defensive ends
Defensive end from Eufaula, Oklahoma

Age: Died at 57 (1954-2011)

Teams: Tampa Bay Buccaneers, Oklahoma Sooners football

Lee Roy Selmon (October 20, 1954 – September 4, 2011) was an American football player and college athletics administrator. He played college football as a defensive tackle at the University of ...more

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#107 of 542 The Greatest Defenders in NFL History #19 of 53 The Best No. 1 Overall NFL Draft Picks Of All Time, Ranked #1,032 of 1,537 The Best Football Players Ever

6
Michael Strahan is listed (or ranked) 6 on the list List of Famous Football Defensive ends
Defensive end from Houston, Texas, United States of America

Age: 44

Teams: Texas Southern Tigers football, New York Giants

Michael Anthony Strahan (; born November 21, 1971) is an American former football defensive end who spent his entire 15-year career with the New York Giants of the National Football League ...more

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#2,138 of 2,181 The Best Athletes Of All Time #26 of 542 The Greatest Defenders in NFL History #58 of 1,537 The Best Football Players Ever

7
Alan Page is listed (or ranked) 7 on the list List of Famous Football Defensive ends
Defensive tackle and Defensive end from Canton, Ohio, United States of America

Age: 73

Teams: Chicago Bears, Minnesota Vikings

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

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#23 of 542 The Greatest Defenders in NFL History #56 of 147 The Greatest Chicago Bears of All Time #112 of 1,537 The Best Football Players Ever

8
Jared Allen is listed (or ranked) 8 on the list List of Famous Football Defensive ends
Defensive end from Dallas, Texas, United States of America

Age: 33

Teams: Idaho State Bengals football, Kansas City Chiefs, Minnesota Vikings

Jared Scot Allen (born April 3, 1982) is a professional curler, and former professional American football defensive end. After playing college football for Idaho State University, he was drafted ...more

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#58 of 542 The Greatest Defenders in NFL History #118 of 147 The Greatest Chicago Bears of All Time #174 of 1,537 The Best Football Players Ever

9
Doug Atkins is listed (or ranked) 9 on the list List of Famous Football Defensive ends
Defensive end from Tennessee, USA, Humboldt

Age: 88

Douglas Leon Atkins (May 8, 1930 – December 30, 2015) was an American football defensive end who played for the Cleveland Browns, Chicago Bears, and New Orleans Saints in the National Football ...more
10
Jim Marshall is listed (or ranked) 10 on the list List of Famous Football Defensive ends
Defensive end from Danville, Kentucky

Age: 78

James Lawrence Marshall (born December 30, 1937) is a former American football player who was a defensive end for the Cleveland Browns (1960) and the Minnesota Vikings (1961–1979). At the time ...more

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#3 of 350 People Who Should Be in the Pro Football Hall of Fame #57 of 542 The Greatest Defenders in NFL History #46 of 84 The Best Ohio State Buckeyes of All Time

11
Randy White is listed (or ranked) 11 on the list List of Famous Football Defensive ends
Defensive tackle and Defensive end from Pittsburgh, USA, Pennsylvania

Age: 66

Teams: Maryland Terrapins football, Dallas Cowboys

Randall Lee White (born January 15, 1953) is a former American football defensive tackle. He attended the University of Maryland from 1971 to 1974, and played professionally for the Dallas ...more

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#29 of 542 The Greatest Defenders in NFL History #77 of 1,537 The Best Football Players Ever #7 of 89 The Greatest Defensive Tackles of All Time

12
Harry Carson is listed (or ranked) 12 on the list List of Famous Football Defensive ends
Defensive end and Linebacker from Florence, South Carolina, United States of America

Age: 65

Harry Donald Carson (born November 26, 1953) is a former American football inside linebacker who played his entire professional career for the New York Giants of the National Football League ...more

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#83 of 542 The Greatest Defenders in NFL History #1,033 of 1,537 The Best Football Players Everlisted on Athletes You Didn't Know Were Conservative

13
DeMarcus Ware is listed (or ranked) 13 on the list List of Famous Football Defensive ends
Defensive end and Linebacker from Auburn, Alabama

Age: 33

Teams: Troy Trojans football, Dallas Cowboys

DeMarcus Omar Ware (born July 31, 1982) is a former American football outside linebacker and defensive end. He played college football at Troy and was drafted by the Dallas Cowboys with the 11th ...more

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#146 of 350 People Who Should Be in the Pro Football Hall of Fame #43 of 542 The Greatest Defenders in NFL History #90 of 1,537 The Best Football Players Ever

14
Jack Youngblood is listed (or ranked) 14 on the list List of Famous Football Defensive ends
Defensive end from Jacksonville, Florida

Age: 69

Teams: Los Angeles Rams

Herbert Jackson Youngblood III (born January 26, 1950) is an American former professional football player who was a defensive end for the Los Angeles Rams of the National Football League (NFL) ...more

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#4 of 85 The Best University of Florida Football Players of All Time #36 of 542 The Greatest Defenders in NFL History #116 of 1,537 The Best Football Players Ever

15
Doug Martin is listed (or ranked) 15 on the list List of Famous Football Defensive ends
Defensive end from Fairfield, California

Age: 61

Teams: Minnesota Vikings

Douglas Martin or Doug Martin may refer to: Douglas J. Martin (1927–2010), New Zealander leader in The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints Douglas Martin (born 1929), Canadian ...more
16
Gino Marchetti is listed (or ranked) 16 on the list List of Famous Football Defensive ends
Defensive end from Smithers, West Virginia

Age: 89

Gino John Marchetti (January 2, 1926 – April 29, 2019) was a professional American football player in the National Football League. A defensive end, he played in 1952 for the Dallas Texans and ...more

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#64 of 542 The Greatest Defenders in NFL History #211 of 1,537 The Best Football Players Ever #23 of 95 The Greatest Defensive Ends of All Time

17
Willie Davis is listed (or ranked) 17 on the list List of Famous Football Defensive ends
Defensive tackle and Defensive end from Lisbon, Louisiana, United States of America

Age: 81

Willie D. Davis (born July 24, 1934) is a former American football defensive end for the Cleveland Browns and the Green Bay Packers of the National Football League (NFL). Davis graduated from ...more

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#67 of 542 The Greatest Defenders in NFL History #206 of 1,537 The Best Football Players Ever #30 of 89 The Greatest Defensive Tackles of All Time

18
Carl Eller is listed (or ranked) 18 on the list List of Famous Football Defensive ends
Defensive end and Defensive lineman from Winston-Salem, North Carolina

Age: 73

Teams: Seattle Seahawks, Minnesota Vikings

Carl Eller (born January 25, 1942) is a former professional American football player in the National Football League (NFL) who played from 1964 through 1979. He was born in Winston-Salem, North ...more

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#61 of 542 The Greatest Defenders in NFL History #219 of 1,537 The Best Football Players Ever #23 of 89 The Greatest Defensive Tackles of All Time

19
Warren Sapp is listed (or ranked) 19 on the list List of Famous Football Defensive ends
Defensive tackle and Defensive end from Orlando, Florida, United States of America

Age: 43

Teams: Tampa Bay Buccaneers, Oakland Raiders, Miami Hurricanes football

Warren Carlos Sapp (born December 19, 1972) is a former American football defensive tackle. A Hall of Famer, Sapp played college football for the University of Miami, where he was recognized as ...more

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#35 of 542 The Greatest Defenders in NFL History #130 of 1,537 The Best Football Players Ever #5 of 64 The Best Miami Football Players of All Time

20
Bobby Bell is listed (or ranked) 20 on the list List of Famous Football Defensive ends
Defensive end and Linebacker from Shelby, North Carolina, United States of America

Age: 78

Bobby Lee Bell Sr (born June 17, 1940) is a former professional American football linebacker and defensive end. He is a member of the Pro Football Hall of Fame, the College Football Hall of ...more

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#76 of 542 The Greatest Defenders in NFL History #1,120 of 1,537 The Best Football Players Ever #37 of 155 The Greatest Linebackers of All Time

21
Charles Haley is listed (or ranked) 21 on the list List of Famous Football Defensive ends
Defensive end and Linebacker from Gladys, Virginia, Virginia

Age: 51

Charles Lewis Haley (born January 6, 1964) is a former American football linebacker and defensive end who played in the National Football League (NFL) for the San Francisco 49ers (1986–1991, ...more

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#39 of 542 The Greatest Defenders in NFL History #138 of 1,537 The Best Football Players Ever #23 of 155 The Greatest Linebackers of All Time

22
John Randle is listed (or ranked) 22 on the list List of Famous Football Defensive ends
Defensive tackle and Defensive end from Mumford, Texas

Age: 48

Teams: Seattle Seahawks, Minnesota Vikings

John Anthony Randle (born December 12, 1967) is a former American football defensive tackle who played for the Minnesota Vikings and the Seattle Seahawks of the National Football League (NFL). ...more

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#65 of 350 People Who Should Be in the Pro Football Hall of Fame #32 of 542 The Greatest Defenders in NFL History #115 of 1,537 The Best Football Players Ever

23
Chris Doleman is listed (or ranked) 23 on the list List of Famous Football Defensive ends
Chris Doleman Defensive end and Defensive lineman from Indianapolis, Indiana

Age: 55

Christopher John Doleman (born October 16, 1961) is a former American football defensive end who spent the majority of his career with the Minnesota Vikings of the National Football League ...more

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#93 of 542 The Greatest Defenders in NFL History #459 of 1,537 The Best Football Players Ever #25 of 95 The Greatest Defensive Ends of All Time

24
Fred Dean is listed (or ranked) 24 on the list List of Famous Football Defensive ends
Defensive end and Linebacker from Arcadia, Louisiana

Age: 67

Frederick Rudolph Dean (born February 24, 1952) is a former American football player in the National Football League, and a member of the Pro Football Hall of Fame. His career started with the ...more

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#503 of 542 The Greatest Defenders in NFL History #8 of 35 Undeserving Members of the Pro Football Hall of Fame #53 of 60 The Best NFL Players From Louisiana

25
Richard Dent is listed (or ranked) 25 on the list List of Famous Football Defensive ends
Defensive end from Atlanta, Georgia

Age: 55

Teams: Indianapolis Colts, Chicago Bears, Tennessee State Tigers football, San Francisco 49ers, Philadelphia Eagles

Richard Lamar Dent (born December 13, 1960) is a former American football defensive end, who played primarily for the Chicago Bears of the National Football League (NFL). He was the MVP of Super ...more

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#52 of 542 The Greatest Defenders in NFL History #7 of 147 The Greatest Chicago Bears of All Time #160 of 1,537 The Best Football Players Ever