A statistic recorded when a defensive player makes contact with an offensive player, forcing him to go to the ground. A tackle is considered recorded when the referee blows the play dead following the contact. A typical tackle will involve the defensive player attempting to keep the offensive player from gaining any further yards, either by hitting the player hard or by wrapping the player up to limit their movement. Tackles can be recorded as either "solo tackles" or "assisted tackles", depending on the number of people involved in the tackle.
A tackle is also a position on the offensive line, the two offensive lineman outside the guards.
The tackle is the primary technique that defensive players will use to limit the yards gained by an offensive player. Good tacklers tend to keep offensive players from gaining any more yards after their initial contact. The styles used can differ wildly depending on the size and strength of the player, but most techniques involve attempting to wrap up a players body or legs to restrict their movement and force them to the ground. When a player gets wrapped up, other defenders will swarm to the ball to assist with the tackle or attempt to strip the football and cause a fumble.
Tackles are one of the statistics used to evaluate a defensive player's effectiveness.