Chris Horton earned a start at strong safety for the Redskins in Sunday's 26-24 win over Dallas--and he came through with several big plays, including a fourth-quarter interception.
Horton took the place of Reed Doughty in what could be a permanent lineup change.
Horton was active early in the game, recording two tackles on the Cowboys' opening drive. On a key third-down play, Horton had solid coverage on tight end Jason Witten on a pass across the middle and tackled him four yards short of a first down.
Late in the third quarter, Horton came up with another big play.
Leigh Torrence was covering wide receiver Miles Austin one-on-one along the right sideline, and at the snap Horton raced over to provide additional coverage.
Horton was able to step in front of Austin and pull in an interception at the Dallas 44-yard line.
The turnover led to a Shaun Suisham field goal that increased the Redskins' lead to 23-17 early in the fourth quarter.
In Week 2, Horton had started for an ailing Doughty and logged two interceptions and a fumble recovery in the Redskins' 29-24 win over the New Orleans Saints.
Doughty returned to the starting lineup a week later against the Arizona Cardinals, but he was beaten on a deep touchdown pass in the second half.
Horton replaced him at strong safety the rest of the game.
Horton, the Redskins' seventh-round draft pick last April, has impressed coaches with his tackling and coverage skills.
Horton approached Sunday's game with surprising confidence for a rookie.
The Cowboys have a dynamic passing game, with Pro Bowlers in quarterback Tony Romo, wide receiver Terrell Owens and tight end Jason Witten.
"In order to be the best, you have to come out and play against the best," Horton said. "[Owens] is a great football player, so you have to come out and bring you're 'A' game."
Doughty continued to see action in sets with five defensive backs.
"Both Horton and Doughty will be in there and depending on what personnel group we use," Jim Zorn said before the game. "We could play multiple safeties in the game. They could even both be starters at the beginning of the game."
-- JAMES AMONG INACTIVES
With Jason Taylor deactivated due to a calf injury, it was thought there would be an all-hands-on-deck approach for the Redskins' defensive line in Sunday's game against Dallas.
But in a mild surprise, Erasmus James was among the Redskins' inactives.
James has been limited early this season as he tries to come back from a knee ligament injury last year.
The Redskins entered Sunday's game with Demetric Evans starting in place of Taylor and Chris Wilson and Rob Jackson as the backups.
The Redskins' complete list of inactives was as follows: Malcolm Kelly, J.T. Tryon, Justin Hamilton, Taylor, Jason Fabini, Chad Rinehart and James.
Kelly came down with a virus on Saturday morning and did not travel with the team team to Dallas.
-- JANSEN STARTS FOR HEYER
As expected, Jon Jansen started for Stephon Heyer at right tackle in Sunday's game at Dallas.
Heyer remains slowed by a shoulder injury. He was active for the Cowboys game and served as a backup to Jansen.
It was Jansen's first start of the season.
Jansen entered training camp as the Redskins' starter at right tackle, but he was supplanted by Heyer at the start of the regular season.