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The Daily Eastern News

The student news site of Eastern Illinois University in Charleston, Illinois.

The Daily Eastern News

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The Daily Eastern News


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COLUMN: The hip-drop tackle ban is bad for the NFL

Sia DeyKoontz
Patrick Schmitz

Defenses in football have had to adapt to changes in tackling for years. Older players have had to adjust how to tackle people, since they cannot lead with their heads anymore. Now, defenders cannot wrap up anyone to tackle them. 

The tackle that is now banned is the hip-drop tackle. The hip-drop tackle is when a defender wraps their hands around the waist of the ball carrier and then lands on the ball carrier’s legs. 

The NFL is defending this decision by making it all about player safety. However, this rule makes it so much harder for smaller defenders to tackle.  

Many defenders, when chasing the ball carrier, will have to wrap them up by the waist. With that, their body just naturally goes over the ball carrier’s legs. For smaller defenders, this is one of the only ways they can bring down a bigger player while they are chasing them.  

This makes it even harder for the defense while the offense gets a break. With player safety, the NFL is changing only defensive rules even though one of the most dangerous plays in football is still allowed: the cut block.  

A cut block is when an offensive lineman hits the legs of the defender to block them. This can cause leg injuries so easily, as it is just a full-grown man putting all of his strength into the defenders’ legs. 

The NFL has made changes so the offense can only do the play close to the line of scrimmage. However, for player safety, that should be banned.

If the NFL wants to promote player safety, it should be fair for both sides of the ball. Right now, only the defense has been getting tackles banned. 

I understand that player safety is a big concern for the NFL, but banning every tackle for the defense just makes their lives harder. However, the biggest concern I have with the new rule is giving more power to the referees. 

Football already has too many judgment calls. From holding to pass interference to roughing the passer, referees already take much of the game into their hands. 

The entire hip-drop tackle is not being banned, just the part of the defender falling on the ball carrier. How often will that actually be called?

Judgment calls just make the officials’ jobs harder, as they must decide in the heat of the moment whether a normal-looking tackle is a 15-yard penalty. 

There has been so much discourse about referees getting pass interference and rushing the passer calls wrong.

With the NFL adding another judgement call, that will put the game in the referees’ hands more often, adding even more discourse and disagreement. 

Overall, this tackle ban puts the game into the referee’s hands and makes the defense have a much tougher time tackling the ball carrier. 


Patrick Schmitz can be reached at 581-2812 or at [email protected].

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Patrick Schmitz, Sports Reporter
Patrick Schmitz is a freshman sports media relations major. This is his first year at The News. 

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