The important thing is to get the play right, but getting it right quickly can pay huge dividends by avoiding unnecessary consternation by coaches. Here are some examples which were all ultimately ruled correctly:
a. K recovers a kick and advances. The ball is dead when K gains possession. The K player will almost certainly take a few steps before the whistle can be blown, but if you let him run to the EZ, there is a risk of fouls or a fumble; all will invite arguments. This has happened about 50 times over the years with only 1-2 quick whistles. You can do it.
b. A muffed kick enters R’s EZ. The ball is dead for a touchback when the ball breaks the plane of the goal line. We’ve had two sets of officials that signaled a TD on that type of play and another crew that decided to dig for the ball to see who recovered. It doesn’t matter who ends up with the ball. In all three cases massive arguments followed. The goal should be to kill the ball within two bounces after it breaks the plane.
c. In overtime, the ball is immediately dead when B intercepts. Again, the interceptor will almost certainly take a few steps before the whistle can be blown, but if you let the play progress nothing good can happen. This happened and the interceptor fumbled; A recovered and “scored.” That was quite messy, especially for TV game.