An offensive strategy in which offensive linemen will knock down defensive players by hitting them at the knees. Cut blocking is legal as long as the defensive player has not already been engaged by another offensive player. Cut blocking can be an effective strategy because a good cut block eliminates a defensive player from the play by knocking them over. While cut blocking is legal, it is considered a dirty play due to the possibility of injury by hitting someone around the knee.
Cut blocking is a very specific type of offensive line play that relies on players being agile enough to knock down the defender by blocking them low. The downside to a potential cut block is that a missed block both eliminates an offensive player while leaving the defensive player upright. A chop block penalty can be called if the defensive player has already been blocked when the cut block attempt occurs. Cut blocking is most often used during blitz pickup where a smaller player will attempt to knock down a defender before they get to the quarterback.