- The Washington Times - Monday, September 29, 2008

IRVING, Texas | Chris Horton’s first start at strong safety for Washington wasn’t going well as afternoon turned into evening Sunday at Texas Stadium.

The seventh-round draft choice had been partly responsible for both Dallas touchdowns and had been pulled from the lineup. But Horton was on the field as an extra defensive back in passing situations, and he used his ballhawking skills to make one of the game’s biggest plays.

The Cowboys had closed within 20-17 and had the ball at their own 37-yard line when Horton stepped in front of Tony Romo’s pass attempt to Miles Austin and made his third interception in three games.

“We had a call where I had to get all the way out [to the Washington sideline], and I got in position and made the play,” said Horton, the NFC defensive player of the week for his two interceptions and fumble recovery Sept. 14 against New Orleans. “I was giving up that ball all week in practice, but I was reading [Romo’s] eyes, and when his eyes got big, I just turned and caught it.”

Horton said he still has a lot to learn, which he showed with his struggles early in the game in place of Reed Doughty, who was benched last week against Arizona.

“We gave Chris a chance to understand his mistakes,” cornerbacks coach Jerry Gray said. “When we ask you to do something, all you have to do is do your job. On the interception, he was supposed to be underneath [the trail receiver]. He was underneath [the trail receiver], and Romo threw it to him. Chris is doing well, but he’s got to keep it going.”

Jansen starts

Jon Jansen was back in the starting lineup at right tackle in place of Stephon Heyer, who sprained his left shoulder against the Cardinals. A 10-year veteran, Jansen played most of the second quarter in place of Heyer against Arizona in his first regular-season action since he broke his right leg and dislocated his right ankle in the 2007 opener, but this was different.

“I’m so excited,” Jansen said, grinning. “I feel great to be able to be a part of it, to win here in the last time we play in this stadium. We won here in 2005, but we needed two late scores to pull that one out [14-13]. This was much more satisfying. We were in control or at least in the game for most of the game.”

K. Campbell a father

Special teams standout Khary Campbell’s wife went into labor a couple of days early and gave birth to their first child, a 7-pound, 14-ounce boy. Campbell learned he was a father 10 minutes before kickoff and wound up with two tackles.

Banged-up corners

Redskins No. 1 cornerback Shawn Springs left in the third quarter with a strained left calf and didn’t return. Fred Smoot, who became a starter when Springs was sidelined, got knocked woozy late in the quarter. That left Carlos Rogers and Leigh Torrence as the only active corners, but the defense held Dallas scoreless until a late hurry-up drive in which Smoot was able to play.

“It was killing me not to be out there, but Carlos and Leigh are good,” said Springs, the only player on Washington’s injury report.

James sits again

Reserve end Erasmus James was inactive for the second straight week. James hasn’t missed any practice time but apparently hasn’t completely recovered from major knee surgeries in both 2006 and 2007, so second-year man Chris Wilson and rookie Rob Jackson were the backups to Demetric Evans and right end Andre Carter.

Washington’s other inactives were Justin Tryon, receiver Malcolm Kelly (ankle), safety Justin Hamilton, offensive linemen Jason Fabini and Chad Rinehart and third quarterback Colt Brennan.

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