But two strikes in the first 20 minutes from James Coppinger and James Hayter upset the odds and gave Jones his first defeat in seven competitive fixtures this season.
"The first 20 minutes killed us," he said. "Do I feel happy? No I don't.
"I don't think we turned up in the first 20 minutes and you can't afford to do that to any team at this level.
"I think a couple of the lads might have taken their foot off the gas. They took the game to us and a few of my players weren't up for that today. You have to start at full pelt and a few of my players didn't and a few never got going.
"I have no problems with the result because fair play to Donny. They played well and harried us and closed us down. They played well and we didn't perform."
Despite what followed, Cardiff actually settled quicker than their hosts, dictating a quick pace that, for a brief time, proved an effective answer to Doncaster's delicate passing game.
But their first setback came in the eighth minute when Jay Bothroyd limped from the pitch with a knee injury, kick-starting a miserable patch for the Bluebirds in which they conceded twice in four minutes.
Coppinger made the breakthrough in the 13th minute, benefiting from some soft marking to glance Martin Woods' in-swinging corner across David Marshall and in off the far post.
And four minutes later, Doncaster went two ahead when Hayter controlled Brian Stock's scuffed shot, turned and floated the ball past Marshall.
The manner of both goals angered Jones.
"They scored from a cheap corner that we conceded," he said. "And then for the second goal, the lad hit a shot which was going well wide but it deflected off one of their players and one of my players stayed in and played the lad onside.
"That should be a wake-up call for us."
After going ahead, Doncaster looked superb, sustaining an attractive style in possession and an unrelenting intensity when chasing.
Hayter and Woods both came close to getting a third, while Michael Chopra typified Cardiff's day with a bad miss on the hour mark.
The striker had been in prolific form, scoring seven times in the preceding four league games, but when Neil Sullivan passed the ball in his path he chipped straight back into the keeper's hands.
Doncaster manager Sean O'Driscoll said: "We performed and created chances. In this division if you go two up you can close the game out and I thought we did that well.
"Losing Bothroyd was a blow for Dave but we coped well with Michael (Chopra). He's on fire at the moment but we dealt with that."
O'Driscoll praised his strikers but hinted reinforcements might yet arrive before the Tuesday afternoon transfer deadline.
His team had only scored twice in four league games before this clash and he admitted finishing opportunities has been a concern for him.
"I thought they did well and took their chances. We thought maybe he (Hayter) was offside for the goal, but we got it. They did well.
"I think one of our Achilles' heels was that we don't finish chances. But the quality we are after we can't afford.
"We don't want to buying players who are no better than what we have got because that would just be wasting money. But something might happen before Tuesday.
"If we could bring someone in then we would.
"This was a good result but also a good performance."