Defensive tackle is a position on the field in football.
Defensive Tackles, or DT's, are typically the largest and strongest of the defensive players. The defensive tackle typically lines up opposite one of the offensive guards. Depending on a team's individual defensive scheme, a defensive tackle may be called upon to fill several different roles. These roles may include merely holding the point of attack by refusing to be moved, or penetrating a certain gap between offensive linemen to break up a play in the opponent's backfield. If a defensive tackle reads a pass play, his primary responsibility is to pursue the quarterback, or simply knock the pass down at the line if it's within arm's reach. Other responsibilities of the defensive tackle may be to pursue the screen pass or drop into coverage in a zone blitz scheme.
In the 3–4 defensive scheme the sole defensive tackle is referred to as the nose tackle. The primary responsibility of the defensive tackle in this scheme is to absorb multiple blockers so that other players in the defensive front can attack ballcarriers and rush the quarterback.