A term for any contact that a player initiates that is considered against the rules or dirty. A cheap shot can be a hit after the play is over, a blind side hit on a defenseless player, or any hit that is meant to cause harm or send a message outside the rules of the game. Typically, a cheap shot will incur an unnecessary roughness or unsportsmanlike conduct penalty, and can result in fines being levied by the league against the player who made the cheap shot.
Cheap shot is a catch all term used for any play that appears to be dirty and against the rules of the game. Cheap shots are frowned upon by players and officials alike due to the potential of injury or on-field conflict. A cheap shot that is witnessed by the officials will draw a fifteen yard penalty, and depending on the severity of the cheap shot, can result in an ejection from the game and further punishment from the league following the game, including potential fines or suspensions. Players who are known for cheap shots tend to be called "dirty players".