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NFL - US Sports: Greatest defensive tackles in history

Aaron Donald can do it all in the NFL and seemingly do no wrong, but where does he rank among the greatest defensive tackles in history?

The Rams star is certainly up there based on his impact and production through eight years in the league and it seems unlikely that he won't be a first-ballot inductee into the Hall of Fame when he eventually calls time on his career.

There are a few golden oldies who can still lay claim to being the best defensive tackles in history for now, as we take a look at some of them.

Bob Lilly (Dallas Cowboys 1961-1974)

Lilly earned the moniker 'Mr Cowboy' over the course of his 14-year Hall of Fame career in Dallas, winning the Super Bowl once and earning 11 Pro Bowl nominations. He began his career as a defensive end, but was switched inside by legendary Cowboys coach Tom Landry midway through the 1963 season.

The 6ft 5" Texan quickly established himself as the main man in Dallas' "Doomsday Defense", going on to earn first-team All-NFL honours every year from 1964 through 1969 and then again in 1971.

When the Cowboys lost Super Bowl V to the Baltimore Colts on a field goal in the final nine seconds, Lilly infamously tossed his helmet in the air in frustration, but Dallas made no mistake a year later when they thrashed the Miami Dolphins in Super Bowl VI.

Lilly's 29-yard sack of Dolphins QB Bob Griese (at the time an NFL record) that day remains one of the most memorable defensive plays in Super Bowl history and the signature note on his career.

He made it onto the NFL's 1960s All-Decade Team, 1970s All-Decade Team, the 75th Anniversary All-Time Team and 100th Anniversary All-Time Team as well as being the first inductee into the Cowboys' Ring of Honor.

Reggie White (Philadelphia Eagles, Green Bay Packers, Carolina Panthers 1985-2000)

Nicknamed "The Minister of Defense", White was an ordained Evangelical minister who passed away four years after his record-breaking career came to an end in 2000.

The two-time NFL Defensive Player of the Year, 13-time Pro Bowl, and 13-time All-Pro selection holds second place all-time among career sack leaders with 198 and was selected to the NFL 75th Anniversary All-Time Team, NFL 1980s All-Decade Team, and the NFL 1990s All-Decade Team.

White helped turn an ailing Green Bay Packers, seen as an unfashionable small-market team on his arrival in 1993, into the storied franchise they are today by sealing victory in Super Bowl XXXI with a game-ending sack. He finished the game with three sacks to set the single-game record for a Super Bowl at the time.

Aaron Donald (St. Louis/Los Angeles Rams 2014-present)

Rams coach Sean McVay christened Donald "The Terminator" during his team's run to Super Bowl LVI glory last season and the team were mightily relieved when he said "I'll be back" after some offseason reflection.

Donald has been so consistently destructive for the entirety of his pro career that he's been selected to eight Pro Bowls in his eight years in the league. He won the NFL Defensive Rookie of the Year award in 2014 and has been named AP NFL Defensive Player of the Year three times.

How high the Rams value him became evident when they signed him to a contract extension that makes him the highest-paid non-quarterback in league history and, with several years left at the top, some important NFL records lie within his reach.

Donald leads the NFL in sacks since he was drafted in 2014 (98) and has recorded the most quarterback hits and tackles for loss during that eight-year span too.

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Joe Greene Pittsburgh Steelers (1969-1981)

"Mean" Joe Greene was the centrepiece of Pittsburgh's vaunted "Steel Curtain" defence of the 1970s that paved the way for the Steelers to win four championships within a six-year period.

Widely considered to be among the greatest defensive linemen to play the game, Greene was noted for his leadership, fierce competitiveness, and intimidating style of play.

He made an instant impact on the NFL, earning the Defensive Rookie of the Year award in 1969, and played his part in turning a dismal franchise into the most dominant.

By the time the Steelers retired his number, he had won two NFL Defensive Player of the Year awards, five first-team All-Pro nominations and ten Pro Bowl selections, together with spots on the league's 1970s All-Decade Team, 75th Anniversary All-Time Team and 100th Anniversary All-Time Team.

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