Warnock’s milestone match was spoiled by three goals in five second-half minutes for Luton, who climbed back into the play-off places having dropped out following defeat to Preston at the weekend.
After ensuring 72-year-old Warnock could not celebrate victory having beaten Dario Gradi’s record by reaching 1,602 matches, Jones said: “We played Middlesbrough twice last year, missed two penalties, so I think we’ve done enough for him.
“You only have respect for him though.
“If you get to 100 games you’ve been a decent manager, if you get to 1,000 games, you’ve been a legendary manager, if you get to 1,602, you have to do something very, very well.
“He started in an era where it was tough, some real good characters, your Harry Redknapp’s when they started, he’s come through that and football evolves, so he’s had to evolve as well.
“Fair play, he’s had a wonderful, wonderful career. You look back in awe and say that’s the career you want to carve out, as if you take 1,600 games then you’ve done something right.”
The Boro boss looked like he could be registering another victory to his name when the visitors went ahead in the 16th minutes, Andraz Sporar crossing for 18-year-old striker Josh Coburn to slide home on his full debut.
Luton turned on the style after the break as Sonny Bradley headed home James Bree’s corner in the 57th minute and Elijah Adebayo hammered in a second with an hour gone.
Two minutes later, Harry Cornick went through to beat goalkeeper Luke Daniels.
Warnock said: “That’s football isn’t it, but the lads who have come out, we’ve had a load of injury problems.
“I didn’t want to leave Josh on but I thought he did ever so well on his full debut, worked his socks off, him and Isaiah Jones.
“I can’t fault them for effort, it’s just that determination to keep your goal intact really that we haven’t got enough of at the minute, with the lads that we’ve got missing.
“It (Kenilworth Road) is a good football ground, places like QPR, this, I love the atmosphere like that.
“I’ve come away, we’ve lost the game, three simple goals we’ve given away and yet it’s a game I think we should have won, so it’s disappointing for me on two fronts.
“I think they respect me, they’ve always given me stick here, most places, and I always give them stick back if I can, there’s not enough good humoured (interaction) like that around the place.”