Most Sacks

    Which defensive players have sacked opposing quarterbacks most often over the course of their careers? Is it a lineman, defensive back or linebacker? Football Almanac is pleased to present the top one-hundred all-time career leaders in sacks.

    Notes: Bold faced names denote football players who appeared in at least one game during the most recently completed NFL season and all player names may be clicked to view comprehensive stats. Sacks became an official statistic in 1982.

"In 19 seasons in the N.F.L., Bruce Smith has been one of the sport's most feared pass rushers. He has sacked quarterbacks like John Elway, Dan Marino, Steve Young, Joe Montana and Phil Simms and 70 or so others, including some whose names are remembered mostly by trivia hounds." - Sportswriter Frank Litsky in the New York Times (12/08/2003)

Most Sacks
All-Time Leaders

'Top 100'

1Bruce Smith200
2Reggie White198
3Kevin Greene160
4Chris Doleman151
5Richard Dent138½
6John Randle137½
7Leslie O'Neal133½
 Lawrence Taylor133½
9Rickey Jackson128
10Derrick Thomas127½
11Michael Strahan124½
12Clyde Simmons122½
13Jason Taylor121½
14Simeon Rice119
15Sean Jones113
16Greg Townsend110½
17Pat Swilling108½
18Trace Armstrong106
19Neil Smith106½
20Kevin Carter105½
21Jim Jeffcoat103½
22William Fuller101½
 Charles Haley101½
24Andre Tippett100
25Simon Fletcher98½
 Jacob Green98½
 Dexter Manley98½
28Robert Porcher96½
29Steve McMichael95
30Ken Harvey89
31Warren Sapp87½
32Willie McGinest86
33John Abraham84
 Howie Long84
 Bryant Young84
36La'Roi Glover84½
 Leonard Marshall84½
 Trevor Pryce84½
39Charles Mann83
 Joey Porter83
41Wayne Martin83½
 Lee Williams83½
43Tim Harris81
 Leonard Little81
45Chad Brown80
 Hugh Douglas80
 Jason Gildon80
48Karl Mecklenburg79
49Patrick Kerney78½
50Greg Ellis77
51Ray Childress77½
52Bryce Paup75
53Mark Gastineau74
 Kabeer Gbaja-Biamila74
55Mike Sinclair74½
56Rob Burnett73
 Jevon Kearse73
58Lance Johnstone72
59Cornelius Bennett72½
60Dwight Freeney71½
 Julius Peppers71½
62Michael McCrary70
63Clay Matthews70½
64Freddie Nunn68½
65Bubba Baker66½
 Marco Coleman66½
67Tony Bennett65½
68Peter Boulware63
 Jeff Bryant63
70Mike Cofer63½
71Jumpy Geathers62
 Keith Hamilton62
73Shaun Ellis62½
 Phil Hansen62½
75Adewale Ogunleye61
 Michael Dean Perry61
77Darren Howard61½
 Tracy Scroggins61½
79Jeff Cross60½
 Alfred Williams60½
81Bertrand Berry59
 Phillip Daniels59
 Tony Tolbert59
 Keith Willis59
85Rod Coleman59½
 Chuck Smith59½
87Cortez Kennedy58
 Keith Millard58
 Anthony Pleasant58
90Jared Allen58½
 Too Tall Jones58½
 Anthony Smith58½
93Chad Bratzke57
 Dan Hampton57
95Junior Seau57½
96Bill Pickel56
97Ezra Johnson56½
98Vonnie Holliday55
99Greg Lloyd55½
 Dan Wilkinson55½

Did you know for a sack to be recorded as official the quarterback must be intending to throw a forward pass? If the quarterback is attempting to rush the ball and gets "sacked" behind the scrimmage line the loss is simply subtracted from the quarterback's rushing total and no sack stat is awarded to the defensive playing making the tackle.

The record for most sacks in a season belongs to Michael Strahan (#11 all-time) with twenty-two and a half in 2001, followed by Mark Gastineau (#49 all-time) with twenty-two in 1984 and then Reggie White (#2 all-time) & Chris Doleman (#4 all-time) who are tied with twenty-one each in 1987 and 1989 respectively.

Is it fair that sacks prior to 1982 are not counted? Should we attempt to research & record every sack possible and compile the date to make a more accurate list? Read Sack Story then share your honest opinion with us on Pigskin Fever.