Wigan Athletic boss 'aggrieved' at decisions during Middlesbrough draw
Latics were on course to cut the gap to safety at the bottom after skipper Sam Morsy marked his 150th club appearance with his second goal of the campaign on the half-hour mark.
But a remarkable series of events around the hour mark turned the tide against them.
First, great work by Joe Gelhardt released Kieffer Moore, who was taken out by Boro defender Harold Moukoudi on the edge of the box.
With most inside the stadium expecting a red card, the official opted instead to brandish only yellow, with Kal Naismith sending the free-kick into the side-netting.
Barely a minute later at the other end, Langford showed a second yellow to Chey Dunkley for an innocuous-looking challenge 30 yards from goal.
And Lewis Wing's resulting free-kick took a massive deflection off the wall on its way past Michael Jacobs.
It quickly went from bad to worse with Wing adding his and Boro's second with 21 minutes remaining.
But Latics dragged themselves off the canvas, and secured a priceless point when Moukoudi - of all people - headed Nathan Byrne's cross past his own goalkeeper on 76 minutes.
"We obviously feel aggrieved at decisions going against us when we're 1-0 up," said Cook.
"But I thought the lads showed great conviction in what they did to get a result.
"To go down to 10 men against a side like Middlesbrough, who can dominate the ball, and take a point is pleasing."
When pressed about the possible red card for Moukoudi, Cook said: "I'm genuinely not going to get involved.
"You guys have watched the same game, so many decisions where you just think...
"We're all after consistency in the game, and to have that many bookings and a sending-off, and to end up with booing in the stadium and chaos...it's not good enough.
"But that's for others to sort out.
"I thought we were doing really well in the game in terms of containing Middlesbrough.
"Up to their first equaliser, I don't think our goalkeeper has made a save.
"To be fair to Middlesbrough, I'm not so sure their goalkeeper's made many saves either.
"But we've nudged our noses in front, and if the game pans out maybe we can see it out at 1-0.
"Unfortunately, after the decisions made by the officials, the game's taken a different path.
"And obviously from being 2-1 down with 10 men, to take a point, we'll take that."