In this work, we propose CSCR, a channel selection scheme for cooperation-based routing protocols in cognitive radio networks. The proposed scheme increases the spectrum utilization through integrating the channels selection in the route discovery phase of the cooperation-based routing protocols. The best channels, that are less congested with primary users and that lead to minimum switching overhead, are chosen while constructing the cooperative group. Evaluating CSCR via NS2 simulations shows that it outperforms its counterparts in terms of goodput, end-to-end delay, and packet delivery ratio. The proposed scheme can enhance the network goodput, in some cases, by more than 150%, as compared to other related protocols.