A planned maneuver in football by two or more defensive players to penetrate the offensive line and disrupt a play from scrimmage.
Stunts are most often performed by two or three linebackers in an attempt to confuse offensive linemen who are attempted to block their attempts into the backfield. A stunt is usually the precursor to a blitz, as linebackers and defensive linemen work together to slip past blockers. To that effect, stunts are only used when the defense anticipates a pass play. A stunt is essentially any change in the path linebackers and other defensive players take to reach the quarterback, and is often accompanied by feints or lateral movement to different gaps prior to the snap. One popular stunt known as "cross-rushing" involves two linebackers who literally cross each other's path on their way to the quarterback.
Stunts, while useful, can become predictable, and if used during a running play can lead to disastrous results for the defensive team. Stunts have also proven useful as a means of blocking kicks.