At the Redskins bye week, head coach Mike Shanahan gave the team the option to add more captains to a group that already included linebacker London Fletcher, offensive tackle Trent Williams and special teams ace Lorenzo Alexander.
After a team vote, three more players have been given captain status: defensive end Stephen Bowen, nose tackle Barry Cofield and rookie quarterback Robert Griffin III.
According to Shanahan, these players exemplify Redskins football on and off the field, and will be given the honor to represent the team during pregame coin tosses.
"Usually, I've had five; sometimes I've had three," he said. "[This is] the first time I had six, because of the tie [between Cofield and Bowen]. I felt it was important for both Barry and Stephen to be out there, so we will be well-represented."
He also said this is the first time that a Shanahan-coached team has ever elected a rookie captain, as they have with Griffin III.
"I was trying to think if I ever had a rookie captain, and I don't believe I have," he said with a shrug. "You get a guy like Robert Griffin III, a rookie coming in, and it's very hard to vote a rookie a captain.
"Midway through the season [his teammates] say, 'Hey, he's our leader.'"
The timing of the announcement is a change from last year, when captains were announced before the start of the season.
"Voting at the midpoint, you get a chance for players to see guys play during the season, like Stephen Bowen and Barry Cofield. I think it is a great honor."
With so many new faces, particularly on offense, Shanahan wanted his players to jell before forcing a decision on leadership.
"A lot of times guys come in with free agency and the draft [that] I don't think they know each other," he explained. "Usually guys that are voted in are guys that have been there from the year before.
"It's something I have done before, and I like it," Shanahan said. "Each year is a little bit different, but I think it has worked out well for us this year."