We consider a class of continuous-time cooperative systems evolving on the positive orthant. We show that if the origin is globally attractive, then it is also globally stable and, furthermore, there exists an unbounded invariant manifold where trajectories strictly decay. This leads to a small-gain type condition which is sufficient for global asymptotic stability (GAS) of the origin. We establish the following connection to large-scale interconnections of (integral) input-to-state stable (ISS) subsystems: If the cooperative system is (integral) ISS, and arises as a comparison system associated with a large-scale interconnection of (i)ISS systems, then the composite nominal system is also (i)ISS. We provide a criterion in terms of a Lyapunov function for (integral) input-to-state stability of the comparison system. Furthermore, we show that if a small-gain condition holds then the classes of systems participating in the large-scale interconnection are restricted in the sense that certain iISS systems cannot occur. Moreover, this small-gain condition is essentially the same as the one obtained previously by Dashkovskiy et al. for large-scale interconnections of ISS systems.