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Cowboys' Aldon Smith leads NFL in sacks after three games

The NFL's leader in QB takedowns through three weeks (entering MNF) is a player who hadn't played a down of football since 2015.

Aldon Smith hasn't just been the Dallas Cowboys' best defensive player through three games, he also leads the NFL in sacks with 4, ahead of T.J. Watt and Akiem Hicks (3.5).

Smith compiled three sacks of Russell Wilson in Sunday's 38-31 loss in Seattle.

"I feel like I try to bring my A-game every time I go out and play,'' Smith said, via the Dallas Morning News. "I work well with the other guys and we work well with each other.

"Rushing is a team effort, especially with this quarterback. If it wasn't for the other guys playing their roles and doing things, it would have been much tougher for me to make some plays out there."

The Cowboys sacked Wilson four times total, but couldn't slow the MVP front-runner, allowing five TD passes and 315 yards passing, as Dallas fell to 1-2.

"I think it's important that you don't let him frustrate you and discourage your rush,'' Smith said. "He does a good job keeping plays active. It was something that we prepared for and something we knew going in.

"It's just that we've got to make more plays next time."

Smith's three sacks were the first time he earned three or more QB takedowns since Week 11, 2012. The seven years and 312 days between three-sack performances mark the sixth-longest stretch between such games since 1982, per NFL Research.

The Cowboys defense hasn't gotten off to a good start under new defensive coordinator Mike Nolan, but Smith has been an unequivocal bright spot. The 31-year-old might not have the massive burst he did early in his career, but Smith still brings persistent pressure and can push the pocket even when he doesn't get home for the sack.

Smith is attempting to write a new chapter in his career. It's off to a phenomenal start through three games. If he keeps up this pace, Smith will be one of the best stories of the 2020 season.

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