Dalton, Smith chosen as top rookies for October

Cincinnati Bengals quarterback Andy Dalton and San Francisco 49ers linebacker Aldon Smith have been selected as the NFL's top rookie for the month of October.

Dalton helped the surprising Bengals to a 4-0 mark during October, completing 63.1 percent of his passes for 909 yards with six touchdowns to earn the offensive award. The second-round pick out of TCU is the first rookie quarterback not selected in the first round to win four consecutive games since Kyle Orton won eight in a row with Chicago in 2005.

Smith garnered the defensive honor after recording 12 tackles with 6 1/2 sacks, a safety and a forced fumble to help San Francisco to a 4-0 mark in October. The first-round pick out of Missouri had at least one sack in all four games and led all first-year players in sacks for the month.

Other nominees for the offensive award included last month's winner, Cam Newton of Carolina and Dallas running back DeMarco Murray. Newton threw for 1,381 yards with seven touchdowns and five interceptions, while also running for five scores last month. Murray set a Cowboys franchise record by rushing for 253 yards in a Week 7 win against St. Louis.

Defensive consideration went to Buffalo defensive end Marcell Dareus, who notched 12 tackles and 3 1/2 sacks; and last month's winner, Washington linebacker Ryan Kerrigan, who produced 18 tackles with one sack and a forced fumble.