|This article does not cite any references or sources. (February 2010)|
In American football, the dime defense is a defensive alignment that uses six defensive backs. It is usually employed in obvious passing situations.
The formation usually consists of six defensive backs, and has either four down linemen and one linebacker, or three down linemen and two linebackers. The formation is vulnerable to running plays, but usually only employed when an offense can scarcely afford to run even for a good gain, either because of the great distance needed to get a first down, a lack of time, or both.
A dime defense differs from the nickel in that it adds yet another defensive back to the secondary. This sixth defensive back is called a "dimeback" (D). The defense gets its name because a dime is worth two nickels in American currency.